metformin and pioglitazone (cont.)
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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking metformin and pioglitazone (Actoplus Met, Actoplus Met XR)?
Some people develop a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking metformin and pioglitazone. You may be more likely to develop lactic acidosis if you have liver or kidney disease, congestive heart failure, a severe infection, if you are dehydrated, or if you drink large amounts of alcohol. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.
Do not use metformin and pioglitazone if you have kidney disease, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin). You should not use this medication if you are allergic to metformin (Glucophage) or pioglitazone (Actos), or if you have:
If you need to have any type of x-ray or CT scan using a dye that is injected into your veins, you will need to temporarily stop taking metformin and pioglitazone. Be sure your caregivers know ahead of time that you are using this medication.
To make sure you can safely take metformin and pioglitazone, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
Certain oral diabetes medications may increase your risk of serious heart problems. However, not treating your diabetes can damage your heart and other organs. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of treating your diabetes.
Some women using metformin and pioglitazone have started having menstrual periods, even after not having a period for a long time due to a medical condition. You may be able to get pregnant if your periods restart. Talk with your doctor about the need for birth control. Women may also be more likely than men to have bone fractures in the upper arm, hand, or foot while taking this medication. Talk with your doctor if you are concerned about this possibility.
Do not take this medicine for longer than recommended. Taking pioglitazone for longer than 1 year (12 months) may increase your risk of developing bladder cancer. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether metformin and pioglitazone will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It is not known whether metformin and pioglitazone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while taking this medication.
Do not give this medication to anyone under 18 years old without medical advice.
How should I take metformin and pioglitazone (Actoplus Met, Actoplus Met XR)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Take metformin and pioglitazone with meals. Take the extended-release (XR) tablet once daily with your evening meal.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole. Breaking the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.
Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor's office. Visit your doctor regularly. Check your blood sugar carefully during a time of stress or illness, if you travel, exercise more than usual, drink alcohol, or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your dose needs may also change.
Know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and how to recognize them: headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, irritability, or trouble concentrating.
Your doctor may want you to stop taking metformin and pioglitazone for a short time if you become ill, have a fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency.
Ask your doctor how to adjust your dose if needed. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.
If you take extra vitamin B12 while you are taking metformin and pioglitazone, take only the amount of vitamin B12 that your doctor has prescribed.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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