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    Information about Pioglitazone

    Pioglitazone uses

    Pioglitazone is used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is used along with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes.

    How pioglitazone works

    Pioglitazone is an anti-diabetic medication. It works by increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin, a natural substance that helps control blood sugar levels.

    Common side effects of pioglitazone

    Weight gain, Blurred vision, Respiratory tract infection, Numbness, Bone fracture
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Anuj Saini
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Ashish Ranjan
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    23 Sep 2019 | 10:35 AM (IST)
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    Read Our Editorial Policy

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    Expert advice for Pioglitazone

    • Pioglitazone helps to control blood sugar level and avoid long-term complications.
    • You should continue to exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and take your other diabetes medicines along with Pioglitazone.
    • Take it only as per dose and duration suggested by your doctor. 
    • Full effects may be visible after several weeks of starting Pioglitazone Keep taking it as prescribed by your doctor. 
    • Monitor your blood sugar level regularly while taking this medicine. 
    • Notify your doctor if you experience shortness of breath, heart problems, or any abnormal swelling.
    • Your doctor may monitor your liver function. Inform your doctor if you notice symptoms like abdominal pain, yellowing of eyes and loss of appetite. 

    Frequently asked questions for Pioglitazone


    Q. Can Pioglitazone cause weight gain?

    Pioglitazone commonly causes weight gain which may be dose related. The reason for this weight gain could be fat accumulation. While, in heart failure patients it could be due to water retention in the body. Therefore, it is important to monitor weight in heart failure cases.

    Q. Can Pioglitazone cause heart failure?

    Pioglitazone can cause fluid retention which may aggravate or speed up heart failure. The doctor usually starts with the lowest available dose and increase the dose gradually while treating patients who have at least one risk factor for heart failure (previous heart attack, coronary artery disease, elderly). Heart failure is more common when Pioglitazone is used with insulin.

    Q. Can you take Pioglitazone and metformin together?

    Yes, Pioglitazone can be used with metformin where sufficient blood sugar management was not possible with metformin alone. This combination of medicines can be used in adult patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and overweight patients with poor blood sugar control.

    Q. What time of day should you take Pioglitazone?

    It is usually prescribed once daily and can be taken at any time of the day but preferably at the same time each day. It can be taken with or without food. You should take Pioglitazone exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

    Q. How long do I need to take Pioglitazone? Can I stop the medicine for some time?

    Continue taking Pioglitazone as long as your doctor recommends to take it. Treatment for diabetes mellitus is long-term so you may have to take it life long. However, if you have to stop it then consult with your doctor who will suggest an alternative. Do not stop taking it without consulting your doctor as it may cause blood sugar levels to rise, which could be harmful to you.

    Q. Can Pioglitazone cause bladder cancer?

    Pioglitazone may increase the risk of bladder cancer, though it is very rare. Immediately consult your doctor if you experience blood in your urine, pain when urinating or a sudden need to urinate, during treatment with Pioglitazone. Pioglitazone should not be used in patients with a prior history of bladder cancer or having bladder cancer.

    Q. Does Pioglitazone affect liver?

    Yes, Pioglitazone may cause an increase in liver enzymes and treatment with Pioglitazone should be stopped if liver enzymes increase. Hence, levels of liver enzymes should be periodically checked while on treatment with Pioglitazone. Pioglitazone should not be prescribed to patients with liver disease.

    Q. What kind of medicine is Pioglitazone? Is it like metformin?

    Pioglitazone belongs to thiazolidinediones class of anti-diabetic medicines. It helps control blood sugar levels by improving how your body uses a hormone called insulin. This is done by helping your cells become more sensitive to the insulin your body makes.

    Content on this page was last updated on 23 September, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)