The below information on Actos has been taken from official FDA sources, but we cannot guarantee it's accuracy. Please use this site for educational purposes only. This site does not replace a proper discussion with your doctor.

    Brand Name:Actos
    Generic:Pioglitazone Hydrochloride
This drug was approved by the FDA in one form or another on:
1999-07-15 ,
This drug is made in one form or another by the following companies:
Takeda Global Research & Development Center, Inc.
This drug is available in the following forms:
View the actual FDA approved label for this drug at the following links:

About Actos

Actos, in addition to diet and exercise, improves blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes).  Actos can be used alone or in combination with a sulfonylurea, metformin, or insulin when diet, exercise, and one of these agents or diet, exercise, plus Actos alone are not are not enough to control blood sugar.

Precautions for Actos

  • Actos is in the same class of drugs as Rezulin, which has been associated with rare but serious liver injury, including liver failure leading to transplant or death. Because the liver safety profile of Actos is not fully determined yet, your doctor will do blood tests that evaluate your liver before starting you on Actos. These blood tests should be repeated every two months for the first year, then regularly after that.
  • Call your health care provider right away if you develop nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, a feeling of tiredness or having no energy, loss of appetite, dark urine, or jaundice (yellow coloring of eyes and skin). These may be the symptoms of liver problems.
  • Patients who experience an unusually rapid increase in weight or retain fluid (edema) or who develop shortness of breath or other symptoms of heart failure while on Actos should immediately report these symptoms to their health care provider.
  • When taking Actos with insulin or certain other oral diabetes medicines, there is a risk of your blood sugar becoming dangerously low. Ask your health care provider about symptoms of low blood sugar, conditions that make low blood sugar more likely, and what to do if you get it. Make sure to explain to family members.
  • If you are a woman who has not reached menopause but have not had menstrual periods; you may become pregnant unless you use an effective method of birth control. Actos, like other drugs in this class, may cause insulin resistant women to start ovulating again.
  • Women should tell their doctor if they notice any changes in their monthly menstrual cycle.
  • During periods of stress on the body, such as fever, trauma, infection, or surgery, your medication requirements may change; contact your health care provider promptly.

Side Effects of Actos

  • cough or cold
  • headache
  • inflammation of the sinuses or throat
  • muscle pain
  • swelling or fluid retention

Who Should Not Take Actos

  • Do not take Actos for Type 1 diabetes (juvenile diabetes) or diabetic ketoacidosis.
  • If you have heart failure, fluid retention or active liver disease your health care provider will evaluate you to decide if Actos is right for you.
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Recent Forum Posts on Actos

swalowing problems with Actos?

Dad took Actos for more than a decade with worsening swelling and eventual congestive heart failure. He also had swallowing difficulty for about 6 years. While he mentioned the swallowing problem to his doctor, the doctor didn't do anything about it. Dad often got medicines stuck in his throat, and sometimes when eating, he would have to vomit because food was stuck. When he developed aspiration pneumonia and was hospitalized, fluid was drained from around his lungs, and his swallowing was evaluated thoroughly by tests and scopes by a gastroenterologist. (The pulmonologist took him off Actos right away and told him it caused fluid/heart problems in some people.)No underlying neurologic problem was found for dad's loss of motility of his esophagus. He swallowed fine but then food moved back up his esophagus as gravity alone isn't enough to propel the food downward. I am wondering if Actos caused the loss esophageal motility. Dad died from his pneumonia and unexplained loss of ability to swallow. They had put in a feeding tube but said his prognosis was poor because he would still aspirate his saliva into his lungs. Has anyone had problems with swallowing when taking Actos?

Actos users may have suffered from serious side effects

Hi, I am Sonja from Sokolove Law. I'm part of our medical rights group that works on pharmaceutical drug claims. We have been reviewing thousands of potential claims where people who were prescribed Actos to treat Type II Diabetes may have experienced serious side effects. One of the more serious Actos side effects that some users have experienced has been an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. Following a five-year analysis of the drug by its manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, The FDA recently announced a warning that users who have taken high amounts of the drug for longer periods of time had a higher risk of developing Actos side effects that eventually led to a bladder cancer diagnosis. Also, we have also seen that some Actos users faced problems related to cardiovascular side effects. Some of the known issues include Congestive Heart Failure and Vision Loss. For folks interested in learning more about Actos and some of the side effects that may have affected you or someone you love, there is great information available at . You can call our office toll free at 800-568-1838 to learn about your options and receive a free legal consultation.

Actos Side Effects

have been having headaches back of head feels like a stiff neck taking actos for about 1 year have had high blood sugar for about 5 years have taken metformin took xr but had severe diahrea took glyberide experienced a lot of lows and went to actos and metformin not good control but tolerable have had a lot of muscle cramps and diahrea. have a lot of back pain and siatiaca legs are numb and ache feel very weak in legs now taking tylenol 3 to control diahreah and had to quit lipitor and all statins taken for cholosterol control needed after taking metforminxr 500 mg had severe muscle cramping and could not move arms freely quit statins completely and have since started recovering from siatiaca after about a 2 year bout with severe back pain and numbness in legs. I have good circulation and am as active as allowed by pain but it is getting better now that i am off the statins they almost did me in. have also experienced blurred vision but seems to be stable now

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I have been taking actos for about 7 years. My weight has increased by 75 pounds in that time. Never in my life have I been this overweight. I decided to stop taking the actos 2 days ago. Start riding my stationary bike and cut all my sugar and breads. Hope this will work.
Also have swollen sinus all the time and shorness of breath often.
The Doc just says since the insulin is being used more effiently that I am storing the sugar instead of urinating it out. Just don't like this weight and think it's time to take control of my life and treat my body right. Hopefully it's okay to just stop taking this stuff




I have diabetes 2 and I received actos 15 for 10 months. My HbA1c decreasd from 7,4 to 6,5 and glucose morning from 125-135 to 115. Aslo HDL have increased from 33 to 50 , triclyceridia decreased from 250 to 125 and total cholesterole from 290 to 250. I will continue to take actos.

No Subject

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes five years ago (age 44). I was in good shape, not overweight and did not fit the profile. I have been taking glyburide regularly to force more insulin production nad keep my blood sugar under control. Occasionally, I suffered from low blod sugar and always wondered when it might hit. I often wondered how long my pancreas could be forced to make more insulin without wearing down. One week ago, I stopped taking glyburide and switched to 15 mg of actos, once a day. My morning blood sugar has been between 110 and 120 (actually a bit lower than before). Evening blood sugar has been around 120-125, definately lower, with no worry of low blood attacks. I am hoping as the actos cleans out my cells' receptors, it will get even better. Maybe even one day I be close to normal without medication.


lipnodes swolen in feet and chest, feet and legs and stomach swollen with water retention. Tired all the time, overeating. Yes, my blood sugar and cholesterol coming down but is it worth it? Also, shortness of breath.

No Subject

I started with 15 mg Actos; weight gain ensued, with about 10 pounds and bloated ankles. Dr. increased dosage to 30 mg; more weight and then extreme tooth pain. Every tooth in my mouth from tips to gum ached. I stopped Actos; no tooth pain. Anyone have anything similar happen?


I have been Type II insulin dependent since 1990 and I am currently taking 25 units of Humulin 70/30 in the AM and 35 units in the PM. Two weeks ago My doctor prescribed 15 MG of Actos along with what I already take to try and lower my glucose level. It had been running around 200 in the AM and PM. My levels have increased instead of decreasing. I am 50 years old and had a heart attack in 1997 so I am on alot of other medications for that and other medical problems like RA and OA and Fibromyalgia. I was wondering if the Actos has had ample time to work or
one of the other medications that I am taking is/are cancelling it out and not giving it a chance to work? I have so far not experienced any strange or noticable side effects other than my glucose level seems to be increasing. Anyone with similar experience?

No Subject

doing good on actos, but having sinus infection problems, and already had fluid retention, little extra water

Pregnancy and actos

I am 37 years old and three months after going on actos, I became pregnant. My only other child is thirteen. Luckily my glucose numbers were low enough to produce a beautiful, perfect little girl. It was difficult to take 200 units of insulin a day and experience late night sugar lows but definitely worth it. Since I stopped breastfeeding and went back on actos it has been difficult to maintain my sugar though. I'm already taking 45 mgs and having 140 blood sugars in the am. I guess I should exercise, eat right and lose weight and see what kind of difference that makes.

internal bleeding

I have been taking actos for about 8 months and now Iam dig. with internal bleeding, is there any chance this could be caused from actos.


I am taking glyburide and avandia. My doctor then added insulin to the regimen. I had swelling, retained fluid and had chest pains.

My doctor has switched to actos, retaining the glyburide and insulin also. I have just started the actos but from researchit seems that avandia and actos are about the same, plus I'm wondering if I am going through a little over kill with so much medication. My reading are still high although not as high before I started the insulin. I was in the 400-480 range daily. Now I am down to 200-250 daily. I will be starting actos tonight for the first time. I am hopeful. Any feedback will be appreciated. Thanks


I have been taking Actos for 3 weeks,my blood sugar was to high.I developed all the side effects at the same time.A cough and cold,headache so bad,muscle pain,inflamed sinus and throat.It called it the flu.I haven't been this sick in years.I was so terribly sick to my stomach. Took me 15 days to get over this.I got on computer today and found this info.I have to admit I feel better.Abit more energy,only hope my blood is down.I will continue taking Actol in order to give a fair chance,unless of course the side effects continue. In which case I would have met my demise. Have a great day everyone,I'm certainly going to. JB


In the last year I was diagnosed with TypeII Diabetes, apparently have had for a long time per my doctors. My doc put me initially on Avandia, then Avandamet. I noticed my vision getting extremely blurry (I went through 3 laser surgeries to control retinopathy). The doc changed me over to Actos 45, and vision is even worse. The doc says its from the surgeries I had (makes you extremely sensitive to light). Funny, though, I stopped Actos for 3 days now, and can see at least 85% better, and every day, it gets even clearer. I am going to insist my doc changes me over to insulin.


Hi - I have taken diabetic medications such as Metformen and ended up in the hospital and my glucose was highter than ever, so now they want me to try Actos, however, after reading all this I am afraid to even try it. Has anyone here ever heard of Cinnergen? I bought some and I am going to try it. I don't want to ask my doctor about it for they don't believe in anything except their own drugs. I do have high blood pressure and high cholestral which I take medicine for, so my only problem is that I don't know if Cinnergen has any affect on those. If you have heard of it or tried it please let me know. Thank you. Idi

Actos and Glucotrol

After taking Glucotrol alone for a couple of years with poor blood sugar control, I finally found a doctor who agreed with me that I was insulin resistant and put me on Actos along with my GLucotrol XL twice a day. WHAT A HUGE DIFFERENCE!!!! My hgba1c went from 8 down to 5.3 within 2 months! I do not notice any side effects from this drug and do receive frequent liver profiles to make sure everything is okay. I am so thankful that this drug is available, it has made a huge difference in my life. There are alot of type II diabetics that would benefit from this drug but it is not being offered/prescribed; instead they are being put on insulin and still have poor control. Doctors need to get their act together and start looking at insulin resistant diabetes a little closer. Poor control is not always the patients fault.

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