Actoplus Met

Generic Name: Pioglitazone

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Actoplus Met is a medicine used along with diet and exercise to help control high blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. Actoplus Met contains two medicines that work in two different ways to lower your blood sugar levels: pioglitazone and metformin.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Both pioglitazone and metformin help your body respond better to the insulin it makes naturally. Metformin also decreases the amount of sugar your liver makes and the amount of sugar your intestines absorb. Together, they help to control your blood sugar.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: Lowering your blood sugar to a normal level may prevent or delay potential complications associated with diabetes, such as blindness, kidney failure, or heart problems. Also, the combination of medicines in Actoplus Met provides better control of blood sugar compared to either pioglitazone or metformin alone.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Actoplus Met exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    Check your blood sugar regularly and as your healthcare provider tells you to. Your healthcare provider will also do regular blood tests to measure your blood sugar levels and your hemoglobin A1C (measures your average blood sugar levels over a 2- to 3-month period). Stay on your prescribed diet and exercise program, as this will also affect the results of your blood tests.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    Actoplus Met can cause your body to retain extra fluid, which leads to swelling and weight gain. Extra body fluid can make some heart problems worse or lead to heart failure. Call your healthcare provider right away if you experience swelling or fluid retention, especially in your ankles or legs; shortness of breath or trouble breathing, especially when you lie down; unusually fast increase in your weight; or unusual tiredness.

    Actoplus Met can cause a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis (a build-up of an acid in the blood). This is a medical emergency and must be treated in the hospital. Stop taking Actoplus Met and call your healthcare provider right away if you feel very weak or tired; have unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, sleepiness or you sleep longer than usual; develop sudden stomach or intestinal problems with nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; feel cold, especially in your arms and legs; experience dizziness or lightheadedness; or have a slow or irregular heartbeat.

    You have a higher chance of getting lactic acidosis if you have kidney or liver problems; drink a lot of alcohol; become dehydrated (lose a large amount of body fluids); have certain tests with dyes or contrast agents that are injected into your body; undergo surgery; or experience a heart attack, severe infection, or stroke.

    More common side effects may include: upper respiratory infection, swelling, diarrhea, headache, weight gain.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Liver problems with symptoms such as nausea or vomiting, stomach pain, unusual tiredness, loss of appetite, dark urine, or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

    Macular edema (swelling in the back of the eye) with changes in vision.

    Bone fractures, usually in the hand, upper arm, or foot.

    Increased risk of bladder cancer with symptoms such as blood or a red color in your urine, an increased need to urinate, or pain while you urinate.

    Low blood sugar with symptoms such as shaking, sweating, rapid heartbeat, changes in your vision, hunger, headache, or changes in your mood. Your risk of low blood sugar is higher if you do not eat enough, drink alcohol, or take other medicines to lower your blood sugar.

    Ovulation (release of an egg from an ovary in a woman) leading to pregnancy.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Actoplus Met if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not take Actoplus Met if you have kidney problems.

    Do not take Actoplus Met if you have severe heart failure.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Actoplus Met. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney, liver, or heart problems; drink alcohol frequently; are going to receive an injection of dye or contrast agents for an x-ray procedure; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 15/500 (15 milligrams [mg] of pioglitazone and 500 mg of metformin) or 15/850 (15 mg of pioglitazone and 850 mg of metformin) once or twice a day. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    If you are also using insulin or taking another diabetes medicine called a sulfonylurea (such as glimepiride, glipizide, or glyburide), your healthcare provider may adjust the dose of these medicines.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Actoplus Met exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Actoplus Met without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Take Actoplus Met with meals to lower your chance of an upset stomach.

    While you are taking Actoplus Met, stay on your diet and exercise program, and check your blood sugar regularly as directed by your healthcare provider.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not drink excessive amounts of alcohol while taking Actoplus Met. Alcohol can increase your chance of developing lactic acidosis.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Actoplus Met is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Actoplus Met with the following: acetazolamide, birth control pills, blood pressure/heart medications known as calcium channel blockers (such as nifedipine), cimetidine, corticosteroids (such as prednisone), dichlorphenamide, digoxin, estrogen, gemfibrozil, isoniazid, morphine, nicotinic acid, phenothiazines (such as chlorpromazine), phenytoin, procainamide, quinidine, quinine, ranitidine, rifampin, thyroid medications, trimethoprim, vancomycin, water pills (such as amiloride, hydrochlorothiazide, or triamterene), or zonisamide.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Actoplus Met during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Actoplus Met. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Actoplus Met, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature. Protect from moisture and humidity.

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I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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