Actos and Type 1 Diabetes
Patients with type 2 diabetes can be treated with Actos. Type 1 diabetes, however, is not a condition that can be treated with Actos alone. Actos may be recommended for a person with type 1 diabetes when the person has type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes at the same time.
Actos® (pioglitazone hydrochloride) is a prescription medication approved for use as a type 2 diabetes treatment. Actos is not approved to treat type 1 diabetes. However, there are some situations in which Actos may be useful in people with type 1 diabetes.
Actos works by decreasing insulin resistance. Insulin resistance involves the body becoming resistant to the effects of insulin and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. In people with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces large amounts of insulin in an attempt to make up for insulin resistance. In people with type 1 diabetes, however, the pancreas cannot produce any insulin at all. Because Actos cannot cause insulin to be produced, it cannot be used alone to treat type 1 diabetes. In other words, it does not do any good to be more sensitive to insulin if there is no insulin present in the body.
However, people may have both types of diabetes at the same time. Often, these are people who have had type 1 diabetes for many years and have also become insulin resistant as they have aged. Although these people still need insulin, they might also benefit from a medication to decrease insulin resistance (such as Actos). This might allow them to use less insulin. However, the idea of "double diabetes" is relatively new, and much more research is needed in this area before the best treatments are known.