Pioglitazone Side Effects
There are many possible side effects that may develop with the use of pioglitazone. Side effects that are most commonly reported include muscle pain, sinus infection or irritation, headache, and upper respiratory infection. There are also a number of pioglitazone side effects that are less common but more serious, including symptoms of low blood sugar, vision changes, or swelling (especially in the legs or ankles).
As with any medicine, there are possible side effects with pioglitazone hydrochloride (Actos®). However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate the medicine well. When pioglitazone side effects do occur, they are generally minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(The side effects discussed below are not a complete list of side effects reported with pioglitazone. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of pioglitazone side effects with you.)
Pioglitazone has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials where side effects seen with a group of people taking the drug are documented and compared to another group not taking the medicine. Based on these studies, the most common side effects of pioglitazone include:
- Upper respiratory infections (similar to the common cold) -- in up to 13.2 percent of people
- Headache -- up to 9.1 percent
- Sinus infection or sinus irritation -- up to 6.3 percent
- Muscle pain -- up to 5.4 percent
- Tooth problems -- up to 5.3 percent
- Sore throat -- up to 5.1 percent
- Swelling or water weight gain (edema) -- up to 4.8 percent (see Actos and Weight Gain).
(Click Lipid Lowering With Actos for more information about other possible side effects of pioglitazone.)