Pioglitazone and Metformin
Pioglitazone and metformin is prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults. The combination medication reduces and controls blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity and decreasing the amount of sugar absorbed into the body. Potential side effects include urinary tract infections, nausea, or weight gain. Pioglitazone and metformin comes in a tablet form and is typically taken once or twice a day.
What Is Pioglitazone and Metformin?
Pioglitazone and metformin (Actoplus Met®) is a prescription medication that is used to treat type 2 diabetes (also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes). Pioglitazone and metformin is a combination of two different diabetes medications: pioglitazone hydrochloride (Actos®) and metformin hydrochloride (Fortamet®, Glucophage®, Glucophage XR®, Glumetza®, or Riomet®).
(Click What Is Pioglitazone and Metformin Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
Who Makes Pioglitazone and Metformin?
Pioglitazone and metformin is manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals.
How Does Pioglitazone and Metformin Work?
Pioglitazone and metformin combines two diabetes medications. These two drugs work differently and have different effects in the body:
- Pioglitazone is part of a class of diabetes medications called thiazolidinediones (or sometimes called "glitazones"). It helps to improve insulin sensitivity. This means that pioglitazone helps your body respond to natural insulin better, which helps to lower blood sugar.
- Metformin works in several ways. It decreases the amount of sugar (glucose) made by the liver. Metformin can also decrease the amount of sugar absorbed into the body from the diet and can make insulin receptors more sensitive, helping the body respond to its own insulin better. All of these effects cause a decrease in blood sugar levels.
Because pioglitazone and metformin does not increase the amount of insulin produced by the body, it is less likely to cause dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), as many other diabetes drugs can do (see Actoplus Met Alternatives and Actoplus Met and Blood Sugar).
However, pioglitazone and metformin is not intended to be used for the treatment of type 1 diabetes (see Actoplus Met and Type 1 Diabetes).