Endocrine System Home > What Is Pioglitazone and Glimepiride Used For?
What is pioglitazone and glimepiride used for? This combination medicine is used to treat type 2 diabetes in adults. It can help reduce and control blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity and helping the pancreas produce more insulin. Since it has not been adequately studied, it is not recommended that pioglitazone and glimepiride be used for children with type 2 diabetes.
Pioglitazone and glimepiride (Duetact®) is a prescription medication that is used to treat type 2 diabetes. The medication combines two different diabetes drugs: pioglitazone hydrochloride (Actos®) and glimepiride (Amaryl®). Pioglitazone and glimepiride may be prescribed when diabetes cannot be controlled by diet and exercise alone.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes (see Diabetes Types). It is also sometimes called adult-onset diabetes or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a condition involving insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, the cells do not respond to insulin as well as they normally should. As a result, they do not take sugar out of the blood very well. This is why people with type 2 diabetes have high blood sugar.
Over time, high blood sugar can lead to a number of problems, including:
(Click Diabetes Complications for more information.)
The cause of type 2 diabetes is not fully understood, although it is known that obesity and genetics play an important role.
Pioglitazone and glimepiride is used for treating type 2 diabetes in people who cannot lower blood sugar sufficiently through lifestyle changes alone (such as weight loss, diet, and exercise). These two medications work differently and have different effects in the body:
- Pioglitazone is part of a group of medications called thiazolidinediones (or sometimes called "glitazones"). It helps to improve insulin sensitivity, meaning that it helps your body use its natural insulin better. This helps to lower blood sugar and keep it under better control.
- Glimepiride is part of a class of diabetes medications known as sulfonylureas. As a sulfonylurea, glimepiride helps the pancreas produce more insulin. It may also help the cells respond to insulin better. Because of these effects, blood sugar levels decrease.