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What should I know about Actos (pioglitazone) before taking it?

Actos (pioglitazone) and other diabetes drugs similar to it may cause or aggravate already existing congestive heart failure (when the heart is not healthy or strong enough to pump blood effectively through the body). Let you doctor know if you have now or ever have had any of the following conditions:

  • congestive heart failure
  • a heart defect
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol or high triglyceride levels
  • problems with swelling in your arms, hands, legs, ankles or feet
  • coronary artery disease
  • heart attack
  • irregular heartbeat

If you have any of these conditions, your doctor may choose not to prescribe Actos or will closely keep an eye on your condition while you take this drug. If while taking this drug you experience any symptoms of congestive heart failure, talk to your doctor right away. Symptoms may include significant weight gain; swelling of the arms, hands, legs, ankles, or feet; stomach pain or swelling; shortness of breath; waking up at night short of breath; requiring extra pillows while you to help you breathe while lying down; or excessive and unexplained tiredness.

This drug may also lead to liver problems. If on this medicine you develop yellowish skin or eyes (jaundice), nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dark urine, tiredness, weakness, or stomach pain, tell your doctor. These all may be symptoms of liver disease.

Additionally, this drug may increase the risk of pregnancy and bone fractures in women.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.