Endocrine System Home > Pioglitazone

Pioglitazone is a medication commonly prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes in adults. It is a form of thiazolidinedione, which works to lower and control blood sugar by improving insulin sensitivity. The medicine comes in tablet form and is typically taken once a day. Common side effects of pioglitazone may include muscle pain, fluid retention, and headache.

What Is Pioglitazone?

Pioglitazone hydrochloride (Actos®) is a prescription medication that is used to treat type 2 diabetes (also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes). The drug can be used alone or in combination with other diabetes medications. It is not intended to be used for the treatment of type 1 diabetes (see Actos and Type 1 Diabetes for more information).
(Click What Is Pioglitazone Used For? for more information on specific uses, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes It?

Pioglitazone is manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company.

How Does Pioglitazone Work?

Pioglitazone is part of a group of diabetes medications called thiazolidinediones (or sometimes called "glitazones"). The medication 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.

Effects of Pioglitazone

There have been several studies looking at the effects of pioglitazone on type 2 diabetes.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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