Home A-E Actos – Drug Uses, Side Effects and Precautions

Actos – Drug Uses, Side Effects and Precautions


Actos is an FDA-approved medication for controlling blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. It contains an active ingredient called pioglitazone, which belongs to a class of medications called thiazolidinediones.

  • Generic name: pioglitazone (oral)
  • Brand name: Actos
  • Drug class: Thiazolidinediones

It is not for treating type 1 diabetes.

Uses of Actos

It is used to help persons with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. The drug should be used with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

How To Take Actos

Follow your doctor’s instructions when taking Actos. Read all drug guides or instruction sheets and follow all guidelines on your prescription label. Your doctor may adjust your dose from time to time.

It can be taken with or without food once a day. You may feel unusually hungry, dizzy, irritated, confused, anxious, or shaky if you have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Eat or drink a fast-acting source of sugar to quickly correct hypoglycemia (fruit juice, hard candy, crackers, raisins, or non-diet soda).

If you have severe hypoglycemia, your doctor may prescribe a glucagon injection kit. In case of an emergency, make sure your family or close friends know how to administer this injection.

Stress, illness, surgery, exercise, alcohol consumption, and meal skipping can all impact blood sugar levels. Before changing your prescription dose or schedule, consult your doctor.

Actos is just one component of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include involving nutrition, exercise, weight management, blood sugar testing, and specialized medical attention. Pay strict attention to your doctor’s recommendations.

Store away from moisture, heat, and light at room temperature. When not in use, keep the bottle tightly closed.

Side Effects

The following side effects can be associated with taking Actos. They include mild and severe side effects.

Consult your doctor or pharmacist for further information on Actos’s potential adverse effects. They can provide you with advice on how to deal with any unpleasant side effects

Mild side effects include:

  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • upper respiratory infection, such as the common cold
  • sore throat
  • sinus infection
  • weight gain

Severe side effects include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Bone fractures
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Liver failure
  • Bladder cancer
  • Edema
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Macular edema


If you have severe or uncontrolled heart failure, active bladder cancer, or diabetic ketoacidosis, you should not use Actos (call your doctor for treatment with insulin). This medication isn’t meant to be used to treat type 1 diabetes.

Congestive heart failure can be caused or worsened by Actos. If you have shortness of breath (even with light effort), edema, or rapid weight gain, stop taking this prescription and contact your doctor right once.


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