When lifestyle changes alone are not enough to control a person's type 2 diabetes, a healthcare provider may prescribe pioglitazone hydrochloride (HCl), a drug that is sold under the brand name Actos®. This drug can be used alone or in combination with other diabetes medications.
As part of a group of diabetes medications called thiazolidinediones (sometimes called "glitazones"), pioglitazone works by improving insulin sensitivity. This means that this medicine helps your body use its natural insulin better, which, in turn, helps lower blood sugar and keep it under better control.
Most people tolerate pioglitazone well. However, as with any medication, side effects are possible. Headaches, muscle pain, and sinus irritation are some of the most commonly reported reactions to this product.
(Click Pioglitazone for more information about this drug, including details about how it is used, safety warnings, and generic availability.)