About Actos and How It Helps in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that affects how your body uses glucose (sugar) for energy. It occurs when your body becomes resistant to insulin, a hormone that helps glucose enter your cells, or when your pancreas produces less insulin than needed. This causes high blood sugar levels that can damage various organs and tissues.
This disease can be prevented, or its onset can be delayed by maintaining healthy body weight, being physically active, eating a balanced diet, and avoiding tobacco use. It can also be managed with medications and lifestyle changes under the guidance of a doctor.
Actos is an oral medication that treats type 2 diabetes mellitus by helping lower blood sugar levels and making the body more sensitive to insulin. Actos is a brand name for a medication called pioglitazone. It belongs to a class of drugs called thiazolidinediones or glitazones.
Intake and Dosage Instructions
Actos only needs to be taken once a day and not before a specific meal. It is available in 15 mg, 30 mg, and 45 mg strengths. The usual starting dose is 15 mg or 30 mg, which may be increased up to 45 mg if needed. The dose may vary depending on your response and medical condition.
Treatment Using Combinations
Depending on how well your body naturally controls blood sugar, your doctor may prescribe Actos alone or with other diabetes medications. Some of the other diabetes medications that can be used with Actos include metformin, sulfonylureas, insulin, and GLP-1 agonists. However, it should not be used to treat type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis (a severe complication of diabetes).
Side Effects of Actos
Actos may cause some side effects such as weight gain, fluid retention, swelling of the legs or ankles, headache, sore throat, sinus infection, muscle pain, tooth problems, and vision changes.
Some serious side effects that require medical attention are:
• Heart failure (the inability of the heart to pump enough blood)
• Bladder cancer (a type of cancer that affects the urinary bladder)
• Liver problems (such as jaundice or hepatitis)
• Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
• Bone fractures (especially in women)
• Anemia (low red blood cell count)
• Ovulation (release of an egg from the ovary) in women who do not have regular periods
• Allergic reactions (including rash, hives, swelling, and/or difficulty breathing)
Be Cautious of Possible Interactions
Actos may interact with other medications, vitamins, supplements, herbs, foods, or drinks. Some examples of substances that can affect how Actos works are:
• gemfibrozil (a cholesterol-lowering drug)
• rifampin (an antibiotic)
• ketoconazole (an antifungal drug)
• oral contraceptives (birth control pills)
• alcohol, and grapefruit juice
You should always tell your doctor about your medicines before starting Actos. In addition, avoid drinking alcohol while taking Actos, as it can increase the risk of liver damage.
Warnings And Precautions
Before taking Actos, you should tell your doctor if you have any allergies; if you have or have had any heart problems (patients with symptomatic heart failure should not take this medicine), liver problems, kidney problems, bladder cancer, eye problems, bone problems, anemia, edema (swelling); if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant. It is unknown whether Actos is safe and effective in children.
Living with type 2 diabetes mellitus can be a challenging feat, but it can be made manageable with proper care and support. People living with this trying disease need to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly, take medications as prescribed, follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly, avoid smoking and alcohol, and check for any signs of complications. They must also take effective measures to cope with this chronic condition’s emotional and psychological aspects and manage their stress levels.