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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Pioglitazone (Oral)

Pioglitazone (By Mouth)

Pioglitazone (pye-oh-GLI-ta-zone)

Treats type 2 diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes) by helping your body use insulin correctly.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to pioglitazone.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.

If a dose is missed:

  • Use the missed dose as soon as possible.
  • Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next regular dose.
  • You should not use two doses at the same time.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the tablets at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep the medicine bottle closed tightly.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using other medicines to treat your diabetes.
  • Some birth control pills may not work as well when used with this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • To keep your diabetes under control, follow your doctor's orders regarding diet, exercise, and testing your urine or blood for sugar.
  • Talk to your doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • If you have had ovulation problems, this medicine may correct that. You may start ovulating again, which could increase your chance of becoming pregnant. If you have questions or concerns about this, talk with your doctor.
  • Before using this medicine, tell your doctor if you have heart failure or liver disease.
  • If you also use insulin shots or another diabetes medicine by mouth, you are more likely to have a low blood sugar reaction after you start using pioglitazone, especially if you miss a meal, exercise for a long time, or drink alcohol. Fever, surgery, or an infection may also cause changes in blood sugar.
  • If your blood sugar gets too low, you may feel weak, drowsy, confused, anxious, or very hungry. You may also sweat, shake, or have blurred vision, a fast heartbeat, trouble concentrating, or a headache that won't go away.
  • Make sure you know what to do if your blood sugar gets too low. Teach your friends, co-workers, and family members what they can do to help you if you have low blood sugar.
  • You can sometimes treat low blood sugar by eating some form of quick-acting sugar. Good sources of sugar include glucose tablets or gel, fruit juice or non-diet soft drink, corn syrup, candy, honey, sugar cubes, or table sugar dissolved in water.
  • Tell your doctor if you begin to have more problems than usual with low blood sugar. Do not make any changes in the amount of insulin you use without first talking with your doctor.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Dark colored urine
  • Stomach pain with nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite
  • Yellowing of skin or eyes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Cough, runny nose, sneezing
  • Headache
  • Mild swelling in hands or feet
  • Muscle pain
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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