Suffering from type II diabetes? Pioglitazone hydrochloride (HCL) is available to treat the condition; it controls the level of blood sugars. For it to be effective, you have to exercise daily and take a balanced healthy diet. The drug may cause negative effects. Worried? Relax, you may not experience the side effects of Pioglitazone, if you do, they may be mild. However, you may experience serious negative effects which can be life threatening. Before having a deeper look at the undesirable effects, learn the basics of this medication.
About Pioglitazone Hydrochloride (HCL)
The pancreas naturally produces the insulin hormone in your body. If the body doesn’t produce adequate insulin to meet your needs, or the insulin produced is not used effectively, it leads to a condition known as sugar diabetes. If you have diabetes, you require treatment to regulate sugar levels in your blood. Controlling sugar levels minimizes complications in future. You may regulate sugar levels by a change of diet and exercising. It may be inevitable to take medications alongside diet and exercise; this is when Pioglitazone comes in.
Pioglitazone is available in the form of a tablet and in three strengths, namely 15 mg, 30 mg and 45 mg. Normally, you will start taking the lowest strength of the drug, but the doctor will decide the strength which suits you. You will take glucose tests to determine the best dose. Take the medicine with or without food, but at the same time daily. Come up with a regular routine to help you recall taking the dose. Follow the doctor’s prescription; don’t take an under dose nor an overdose. For the drug to be effective, it may take two to three months. So, be patient and don’t expect results overnight, though, be keen and observe side effects. Actos is the brand name and Pioglitazone is the generic name.
How Does the Drug Work?
It increases the sensitivity of the body cells and the liver to insulin. The drug lowers blood sugar levels making your body cells more sensitive to insulin and you may be faced with Pioglitazone side effects. It is used alone or combined with some anti-diabetic drugs like Metformin. In a nutshell, it is a medication for type 2 diabetes.
In case you experience the following negative effects report to your doctor with immediate effect:
- Allergic reactions like itching, skin rash, swelling of the face, lips or tongue
- Blood in the urine
- Bone fractures
- Breathing problems
- Blurred vision
- Dark urine
- Fever, chills
- Increased urination
- Painful urination
- Sudden weight gain
- Swelling of the ankles, hands, and feet
- Jaundice – your skin and eyes becoming yellow
- Chest pain
For the common Pioglitazone unwanted effects, they may be mild and go away on their own. Bear in mind, this medication is a substance new to your body and reacts to it before it adjusts to it. Nevertheless, if the unwanted effects persist and worrisome, always inform your doctor to give a management strategy; he may prescribe medications to improve the bothersome effects. But don’t take over the counter drugs without informing the doctor; they may aggravate the drug negative effects which are:
- Muscle or joint pain
- Cold symptoms like Runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough
- Tooth problems
- Back pain
- Gradual weight gain
You may be having some medical conditions that may add to Pioglitazone side effects. Inform your doctor of the following conditions:
- Bladder cancer
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Vision problem, for example, macular edema
- Heart disease
- Heart failure
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Swelling of the arms, leg, and feet
- Diabetes type 1
- Allergic reaction to Pioglitazone, other drugs, dyes, foods and preservatives
- Trying to conceive or pregnant
The above-mentioned conditions don’t necessarily mean you can’t use the drug. It means the doctor needs to monitor you more often; for example, if expectant and have type 2 diabetes, your blood sugar levels must be regulated and the dose can be different each stage of your pregnancy.
Getting the Most From the Drug
Has the doctor directed you to change your diet and to exercise in moderation? Strictly follow his recommendations to enjoy most of the benefits of Pioglitazone and suppress its negative effects. Remember you are going to him to get medical help. Bear in mind the following:
- Regularly visit the doctor’s clinic for checkups. If you have a background of liver disease, the doctor will check the function of the liver while on medication. Be vigilant to note signs of liver disease such as jaundice, dark urine, and persistent nausea and stomach pains. Eye and foot clinics are a must to attend for analysis as well.
- The doctor will teach you to test the blood or urine frequently to confirm the blood sugar levels are in control. Especially while taking these tablets with an antidiabetic drug.
- Look out for the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar, such as feeling anxious, sweating and feeling hungry. Other medications may trigger hypoglycemia. Alcohol, strenuous exercise and deficiency of calories in the food that you take may be responsible also for low blood sugar. To curb hypoglycemia, don’t take any drug without getting a go ahead from the doctor, avoid alcohol intake and eat your meals on a regular schedule. In case you experience low blood sugar, eat table sugar or honey but inform the doctor.
- If you pass urine more often, have unexplained fatigue, confusion, and unusual thirst, you may be having high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) Pioglitazone dose may need to be adjusted, inform your doctor.
If planning to go for a long journey, inform the doctor in advance to give you tips to keep your blood sugar regulated. For example, he may advise you to check the blood sugar prior the journey and take some snacks if you miss a meal while traveling.
To manage Pioglitazone side effects, update the doctor about the negative effects you have faced, even the mild undesirable effects. Follow the doctor’s instructions faithfully and you will normalize your blood sugar levels.