What is pioglitazone?

Pioglitazone is part of the antidiabetic thiazolidinediones. That is, it reducesblood sugar levels. In patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, hyperglycemia (very high blood glucose levels) can generate a whole series of complications, sothe treatment seeks to reduce these figures.

What is pioglitazone for?

  • The mechanism of action of pioglitazone consists of its binding toperoxisome gamma receptors located in the cell membrane, sensitizing them to insulin. Thus, glucose is transported into the cell and lowers blood glucose. (1)
  • It is used to treat:

Dosage and routes of administration of pioglitazone

Pioglitazone is a hypoglycaemic agent usually presented as tablets with an exclusively oral route of administration inpatients with insulin resistance, either as part of monotherapy or bitherapy with other anti-diabetes medicines. Doses usually include:

  • Tablets: In adults, the starting dose is15 mg once daily at meals. If the patient does not respond satisfactorily to treatment, the dose should be increased to 30 mg, with a maximum dose of 45 mg daily.

What products contain pioglitazone?

Some of the medicines that contain pioglitazone are:

  • Acts®
  • Accotaz®
  • Actizal®


  • Acts® is anAntidiabetic Drug marketed and distributed by Abbott de Colombia SA., in the South American region. , in the South American region. (two)
  • The drug is marketed in presentations of 15 mg, 30 mg and 45 mg tablets with an oral administration route.


  • Accotaz® is a drug from the group of thiazolidinediones , the trade name for pioglitazone.
  • It is a medicine marketed by the laboratories INNOVARE R & D, SA DE CV (3)
  • It works by increasing the sensitivity of cells to glucose and thus decreasing hepatic gluconeogenesis (glucose formation in the liver).


  • Actizal®, like the other two drugs above, is one of the trade names for pioglitazone .
  • It is an Antidiabetic Drug , marketed and distributed by SILANES, SA de CV laboratories (4)

Pioglitazone Side Effects

Pioglitazone is not part of the first line against type 2 diabetes (like metformin), because it has been associated with a certain number of adverse effects, among which we have:

  • Unintentional weight gain.
  • Fluid retention .
  • Vision disturbances.
  • Hypoglycaemia (if co-administered with metformin or insulin).
  • Decreases the action of contraceptives.

Important: If you notice the appearance of some of the effects mentioned above or others not present in the list, stop using the medicine and consult your doctor.

Pioglitazone Contraindications and Warnings

There are certain groups of patients for whom the prescription of pioglitazone is contraindicated, since the risk of adverse effects is greater than the theoretical benefit, so this drug is not recommended in the following cases:

  • Hypersensitivity reactions to pioglitazone or to the excipients of the drug.
  • Family history of heart failure or certain types of cancers, such as prostate, bladder, and pancreatic cancer.
  • Pregnant and lactating women .

To highlight: Before starting treatment with pioglitazone, it is recommended to provide all the information to your treating doctor regarding your health history, in order to avoid possible risks. 

Avoid it if you have:

  • Heart failure of some kind.
  • Renal insufficiency.
  • Alterations of the liver.
  • If you are taking oral contraceptives.


  • The use of pioglitazone has been associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, compared with diabetics not taking the drug. (5)
  • Pioglitazone increases the risk of bone fractures in women, especially after menopause.
  • Keep this medicine out of the reach of children.
  • This drug must be used with a prescription and under medical supervision, therefore avoid self-medication.
  • Keep this medication stored in a cool, dry place.

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