What Is Pioglitazone Used For?
Many people wonder, "What is pioglitazone used for?" Pioglitazone is used to treat type 2 diabetes in adults. When blood sugar cannot be lowered through lifestyle changes alone, this oral diabetes medication is often prescribed to help reduce and control blood sugar levels. Because there have not been enough studies on the effects of pioglitazone on children, the medication is not licensed for use in children.
Pioglitazone hydrochloride (Actos®) is a prescription medicine that has been licensed to treat type 2 diabetes. The drug can be used alone or in combination with other diabetes medications. Pioglitazone cannot be used to treat type 1 diabetes (see Actos and Type 1 Diabetes).
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes (see Diabetes Types). It is also sometimes called adult-onset diabetes or noninsulin-dependent diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a condition involving insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, body cells do not respond to insulin as well as they normally should. As a result, the body cells 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 diabetic impotence, diabetic neuropathy, kidney failure, and heart disease (see Diabetes Complications). The cause of type 2 diabetes is not fully understood, although it is known that obesity and genetics play an important role.
Pioglitazone is used for treating type 2 diabetes in people who cannot lower blood sugar through lifestyle changes (such as weight loss, diet, and exercise). The drug is part of a group of diabetes medications called thiazolidinediones (or sometimes called "glitazones"). Pioglitazone helps to improve insulin sensitivity, meaning that it helps your body use its natural insulin better. This not only causes a lowering of blood sugar, but also keeps it under better control.