What is Actos prescribed for?
Actos, in addition to diet and exercise, improves blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes). Actos can be used alone or in combination with a sulfonylurea, metformin, or insulin when diet, exercise, and one of these agents or diet, exercise, plus Actos alone are not are not enough to control blood sugar.
Who should not take Actos?
- Do not take Actos for Type 1 diabetes (juvenile diabetes) or diabetic ketoacidosis.
- If you have heart failure, fluid retention or active liver disease your doctor will evaluate you to decide if Actos is right for you.
General Precautions to take when on Actos:
- In drug testing, Actos did not cause liver toxicity or an increase in liver enzymes. However, Actos is in the same class of drugs as Rezulin, which has been associated with rare but serious liver injury, including liver failure leading to transplant or death.
- Because the liver safety profile of Actos is not fully determined yet, your doctor will do blood tests that evaluate your liver before starting you on Actos. These blood tests should be repeated every two months for the first year, then regularly after that.
- Call your doctor right away if you develop nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, a feeling of tiredness, or having no energy, loss of appetite, dark urine, or jaundice (yellow coloring of eyes and skin). These may be the symptoms of liver problems.
- When taking Actos with insulin or certain other oral diabetes medicines, there is a risk of your blood sugar becoming dangerously low. Ask your doctor about symptoms of low blood sugar, conditions that make low blood sugar more likely, and what to do if you get it. Make sure to explain to family members.
- If you are a woman who has not reached menopause but have not had menstrual periods; you may become pregnant unless you use an effective method of birth control. Actos, like other drugs in this class, may cause insulin resistant women to start ovulating again.
- Women should tell their doctor if they notice any changes in their monthly menstrual cycle.
- During periods of stress on the body, such as fever, trauma, infection, or surgery, your medication requirements may change; contact your doctor promptly.
There are some things that you should tell your doctor when taking this medication:
Women taking oral birth control pills should talk to their doctor when taking Actos, because the effectiveness of oral birth control pills can be reduced.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or if you are currently breast feeding.
Because certain other medications may interact with Actos, tell your doctor what medications you are taking, including those that you take without a prescription.
What side effects can you expect when taking Actos? (This list is NOT a complete list of side effects reported with Actos. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a complete list of possible side effects and drug interactions..)
- Cough or cold
- Inflammation of the sinuses or throat
- Muscle pain
- Swelling or fluid retention
For more detailed information about Actos, ask your doctor.
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