Actos is the American brand name of the generic drug pioglitazone. Pioglitazone, a thiazolidinedione with hypoglycemic action, is also marketed under the Mexican name Zactos and the European name of Glustin. It is for the treatment of type 2 diabetes but can also be used in some type 1 diabetics. Actos will increase insulin sensitivity in the body. It is used as a type 2 diabetic regulator and for some, can help keep type 2 diabetics off of insulin injections. Actos is not a replacement for proper diet and exercise in diabetics.
It may take well over two weeks for Actos to really start to work in the body and you feel all the effects of it. It is taken by mouth, once a day, and can be taken with meals or without. It should be given around the same time each day. Your doctor may start you off on a smaller dosage and work up to the correct dosage that is right for you.
Side Effects of Actos
While there are many side effects from actos related issues, these are the side effects that can come strictly from pioglitazone.
- Sore throat, Tooth pain, Mouth pain
- Muscle pain
- Headache, Runny nose, Cold-like symptoms
Serious side effects can include:
- Vision blurring, Vision loss
- Jaundice (yellowing) of skin or eye whites
- Dark urine
- Vomiting, Nausea, Loss of appetite
Those taking Actos have been shown to have a higher risk factor for bladder cancer than those diabetics who do not take the drug. Women taking Actos were seen to have a higher fracture risk than those who didn’t. Fractures tended to occur in the legs, arms, hands, feet, and ankle areas.
Actos Related Side Effects
Actos can make changes in your blood sugar. You may experience hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). These are the side effects of those two conditions.
Hypoglycemia, Low Blood Sugar
- Shakiness, dizziness, nervousness
- Twitching, Weakness, Irritability
- Headache, mood swings, sweating
Severe hypoglycemia side effects can be confusion, seizure, and a loss of consciousness.
Hyperglycemia, High Blood Sugar
- Blurred Vision
- Extreme hunger, Extreme thirst
- Frequent Urination
- Weakness, Irritability
Severe hyperglycemia side effects can be dry mouth, vomiting, upset stomach, “fruity” breath, shortness of breath, and loss of consciousness.
Any of the above mentioned side effects should be reported to your doctor or healthcare provider immediately.