Pioglitazone belongs to the family of drugs called thiazolidinediones. It’s used to lower elevated blood sugar levels in people with type II diabetes by making the cells of the body more sensitive to insulin hormone; it enables them to use more sugar from the blood. The amount of glucose produced by the liver is also reduced and the functioning of the beta cells which produce insulin is preserved. Taking this medication together with a healthy lifestyle may lower the risk of developing a serious complication such as cardiovascular diseases. It’s a prescription drug in the form of a tablet. The drug dosage will depend on several factors, for example, the patient’s age, medical history, and existing health conditions.
Pioglitazone Dosage for Type II Diabetes
The dose of Pioglitazone will be different from one patient to another. Follow the doctor’s prescription, if the dose prescribed is different from the doses outlined in the article, do not change it, but take it as directed; the information here includes the average doses of Pioglitazone prescribed in most cases.
Pioglitazone tablets are available in 15 mg, 30 mg, and 45 mg strength. The tablet is taken orally, with or without food. The strength of the tablet prescribed depends on how the blood glucose is controlled and if on combination therapy or if the drug is used alone. It’s advisable to take the tablet at the same time every day to help an individual remember it. However, if you forget to take the tablet at the usual time, take it once you recall. But if one forget to swallow the tablet for the whole day, just skip the missed dose and take the next dose but at the usual time. The following is the drug dosage which may be given to treat type II diabetes:
- The initial dose is 15 mg or 30 mg taken once daily for adults aged 18 to 64 years. If the sugar levels aren’t controlled well, the physician may adjust the dose to 30 mg or 45 mg based on what the starting dose was; however, the maximum dose is 45 mg once daily
- For a patient with heart failure or congestive heart failure, the dosage will depend on how severe the symptoms are. Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart muscle does not pump blood as it’s supposed to. For a patient in class one or two, the starting dose is 15 mg once a day. The patient should be closely monitored while on the medication or when the dose is changed. Using the drug on patients on the 3rd or the 4th class is discouraged.
- Dosage for seniors (aged 65 years and above). When you are aged, kidneys, liver, and other body organs may not work properly as they used to when one was younger. Hence, one may be sensitive to the effects of Pioglitazone. Additionally, it can be difficult to detect symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). The medical care provider may start you on 15 mg tablets, but be under strict observation.
- The use and child’s (between 0 to 17 years) dosage is determined by the health care professional since the drug has not been studied in children.
It’s important to note that this medication isn’t a cure for type II diabetes; it only regulates or controls the sugar levels. It can take two weeks for the blood glucose levels to decrease and two to three months to experience the full effects. So, continue with the dose prescribed, although you may feel better, and don’t stop taking the drug unless the physician instructs you to do so. The physician will run blood test every three to six months to measure the blood sugar control.
What to do while on the medication
- Visit the doctor for frequent checkups to monitor the progress. You may undergo tests to ensure the liver is working as expected.
- Constantly check the blood sugar levels frequently, in case you don’t how to do it, request the doctor or the nurse to train you. Furthermore, learn the signs and symptoms of low as well as high blood glucose and how to quickly manage them. For example, have with you a quick source of sugar just in case you encounter low blood sugar. Quick sources include fruit juice and glucose tablets.
- Ensure your close friends and family members are aware of your condition and you are at risk of choking if severe symptoms of hypoglycemia occur like seizures or unconsciousness and they should seek medical intervention right away
- The health care professional may need to change the drug dose if you record high blood sugar a number of times or if you are unwell or engaging in strenuous exercise and the body is not used to
- Don’t skip meals; avoid taking alcohol while on the medication. Many over a counter cough and cold medication contain sugar or alcohol and may affect the blood glucose
- This medicine makes you prone to certain heart problems. If a person experience chest pain and shortness of breath, they may be sign of severe medical condition, thus seek medical help immediately
- The drug may induce ovulation in premenopausal women with irregular menses which may increase the chance of conception. Don’t take the medicine if you conceive. Discuss the best method of birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
- Always wear a medical chain or ID bracelet and carry a card indicating you are diabetic and the drugs you are taking currently including the dosage prescribed
It’s advisable to have a list of all medications you are taking and always carry it to the doctor’s office to inform him of all drugs you are on and try to avoid possible drug interaction. Remember to strictly follow the directions given by the physician on Pioglitazone dosage and administration.