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Actos and Weight Gain

There are a number of side effects that could potentially occur with the use of Actos, and weight gain is one of the more common ones. Clinical studies show that Actos caused patients to gain two to six pounds within 16 to 26 weeks, with those who were taking higher doses gaining more weight than those taking lower doses.

Does Actos Cause Weight Gain?

There are a number of possible side effects with Actos® (pioglitazone hydrochloride). Weight gain does appear to be one of them. This data comes from clinical trials where Actos was extensively studied and side effects were documented.
One thing to keep in mind is that rapid weight gain (more than three to five pounds in a week) is a possible sign of congestive heart failure, another known problem with Actos.

How Common Is Weight Gain With Actos?

Before medicines are approved, they must go through several clinical studies where thousands of people are given a particular medicine and compared to a group of people not given the medicine. In these studies, side effects are always documented. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
People taking Actos alone gained about two to six pounds on average over 16 to 26 weeks, while people not taking Actos lost about three pounds over that same time period. When Actos was combined with insulin or certain other oral diabetes medications, the amount of weight gain increased up to about nine pounds.
In these studies, people who were taking higher doses of Actos gained more weight than people taking lower doses. Also, taking Actos with metformin (Glucophage®) seemed to slightly decrease the amount of weight gained.
There have been reports of people rapidly gaining large amounts of weight while taking Actos, probably due to fluid retention. Fluid retention can be dangerous (especially in people with heart problems), so be sure to tell your healthcare provider right away if you are gaining weight rapidly.
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