You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking this medication if you have:
- Heart problems of any kind, especially congestive heart failure (CHF)
- Liver problems, including liver failure or cirrhosis
- An upcoming surgery
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Actos and Pregnancy)
- Having problems getting pregnant
- Premenopausal without regular menstrual periods.
Tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Actos Warnings and Precautions for more information on this topic, including information on who should not take the drug.)
In general, type 2 diabetes treatment begins with lifestyle changes (such as weight loss, exercise, and diet). If lifestyle changes are not effective at managing diabetes, medication (such as Actos) may be necessary.
The main goal of diabetes medicine is to lower blood sugar levels enough to reduce your risk of developing problems related to diabetes, such as heart, nerve, eye, or kidney problems. Because Actos can lower blood sugar levels, people may be able to lower their risk for developing problems related to high blood sugar.
For most people, the drug is quite effective at controlling blood sugar. It is also generally well-tolerated. However, side effects can occur, or the medicine may not work as well as needed. In these cases, you may need to combine Actos with another diabetes medicine, such as metformin (Glucophage®) or insulin. You may also wish to consider a substitute for Actos. These substitutes could include other thiazolidinediones or other diabetes medicines, either by themselves or in combination.
(Click Actos Alternatives to learn more about alternatives to this medication.)
To learn about controlling diabetes through lifestyle choices, click on the following eMedTV links: