What Actos is and what it is used for
Actos contains pioglitazone. It is an anti-diabetic medicine used to treat type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes mellitus in adults, when metformin is not suitable or has failed to work adequately. This is the diabetes that usually develops in adulthood. Actos helps control the level of sugar in your blood when you have type 2 diabetes by helping your body make better use of the insulin it produces. Your doctor will check whether Actos is working 3 to 6 months after you start taking it. Actos may be used on its own in patients who are unable to take metformin, and where treatment with diet and exercise has failed to control blood sugar or may be added to other therapies (such as metformin, sulphonylurea or insulin) which have failed to provide sufficient control of blood sugar.
How to take Actos
Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure. The usual starting dose is one tablet of 15 mg or of 30 mg of pioglitazone to be taken once daily. Your doctor may increase the dose to a maximum of 45 mg once a day. Your doctor will tell you the dose to take. If you have the impression that the effect of Actos is too weak, talk to your doctor. When Actos is taken in combination with other medicines used to treat diabetes (such as insulin, chlorpropamide, glibenclamide, gliclazide, tolbutamide) your doctor will tell you whether you need to take a smaller dose of your medicines. Your doctor will ask you to have blood tests periodically during treatment with Actos. This is to check that your liver is working normally. If you are following a special diet for diabetes, you should continue with this while you are taking Actos. Your weight should be checked at regular intervals; if your weight increases, inform your doctor. If you take more Actos than you should If you accidentally take too many tablets, or if someone else or a child takes your medicine, talk to a doctor or pharmacist immediately. Your blood sugar could fall below the normal level and can be increased by taking sugar. It is recommended that you carry some sugar lumps, sweets, biscuits or sugary fruit juice. If you forget to take Actos Take Actos daily as prescribed. However if you miss a dose, just carry on with the next dose as normal. Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten tablet. If you stop taking Actos Actos should be used every day to work properly. If you stop using Actos, your blood sugar may go up. Talk to your doctor before stopping this treatment. If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Possible side effects
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. In particular, patients have experienced the following serious side effects: Heart failure has been experienced commonly (may affect up to 1 in 10 people) in patients taking Actos in combination with insulin. Symptoms are unusual shortness of breath or rapid increase in weight or localised swelling (oedema). If you experience any of these, especially if you are over the age of 65, seek medical advice straight away. Bladder cancer has been experienced uncommonly (may affect up to 1 in 100 people) in patients taking Actos. Signs and symptoms include blood in your urine, pain when urinating or a sudden need to urinate. If you experience any of these, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Localised swelling (oedema) has also been experienced very commonly (may affect more than 1 in 10 people) in patients taking Actos in combination with insulin. If you experience this side effect, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Broken bones have been reported commonly (may affect up to 1 in 10 people) in female patients taking Actos and have also been reported in male patients (frequency cannot be estimated from the available data) taking Actos. If you experience this side effect, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Blurred vision due to swelling (or fluid) at the back of the eye has also been reported in patients taking Actos (frequency cannot be estimated from the available data). If you experience this symptom for the first time, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Also, if you already have blurred vision and the symptom gets worse, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Allergic reactions have been reported with frequency not known (cannot be estimated from the available data) in patients taking Actos. If you have a serious allergic reaction, including hives and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat that may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing stop taking this medicine and talk to your doctor as soon as possible. The other side effects that have been experienced by some patients taking Actos are: common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people)
•numbness uncommon (may affect up to 1 in 100 people)
•inflammation of the sinuses (sinusitis)
•difficulty sleeping (insomnia) not known (frequency cannot be estimated from the available data)
•increase in liver enzymes
•allergic reactions The other side effects that have been experienced by some patients when Actos is taken with other antidiabetic medicines are: very common (may affect more than 1 in 10 people)
•decreased blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people)
•shortness of breath
•small reduction in red blood cell count
•flatulence uncommon (may affect up to 1 in 100 people)
•sugar in urine, proteins in urine
•increase in enzymes
•spinning sensation (vertigo)
Reporting of side effects If you get any side effects talk to your doctor. This includes any side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme. Website: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
How to Store Actos
Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children. Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the carton and the blister pack after “EXP”. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month. This medicine does not require any special storage precautions. Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures will help protect the environment.
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