Diabetes Home > Actoplus Met and Type 1 Diabetes

While type 2 diabetes can be treated with Actoplus Met, and type 1 diabetes is generally treated with insulin, certain people with "double diabetes" may benefit from Actoplus Met. People who have had type 1 diabetes for many years and become insulin-resistant can use the drug to help them become more sensitive to insulin. More research is needed, however, before the link between Actoplus Met and type 1 diabetes is fully understood.

Actoplus Met and Type 1 Diabetes: An Overview

Actoplus Met® (pioglitazone and metformin) is a prescription medication approved for use as a type 2 diabetes treatment. It is not approved to treat type 1 diabetes. However, there are some situations where Actoplus Met may be useful in people with type 1 diabetes.

Actoplus Met and Type 1 Diabetes: How Does the Drug Work?

Actoplus Met is a combination of two diabetes medications (pioglitazone and metformin). These medications work differently and have different effects in the body:
  • Pioglitazone is part of a group of medications called thiazolidinediones (or sometimes called "glitazones"). Pioglitazone helps to improve insulin sensitivity. This means that it helps your body respond to insulin better, which helps to lower blood sugar.
  • Metformin works in several ways. It decreases the amount of sugar (glucose) made by the liver. Metformin can also decrease the amount of sugar absorbed into the body from the diet and can make insulin receptors more sensitive, helping the body respond to its own insulin better. All of these effects cause a decrease in blood sugar levels and lead to better control.
In people with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas cannot produce insulin. Because Actoplus Met does not 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 that can make them more sensitive to insulin (such as Actoplus Met). 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.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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