Actos is an oral medication prescribed for people diagnosed with diabetes. The medication is used to help control blood sugar levels in people with type II diabetes. It is not prescribed for people with type I diabetes. Actos in combination with proper diet and exercise aids in the control of blood sugar levels by helping the body use the insulin it makes more efficiently. Actos also helps prevent the liver from making more sugar than the body needs. This allows the sugar in the blood to get where it needs to go and prevents sugar build up in the bloodstream.
Actos is part a program that includes both diet and exercise to control blood sugar levels. Follow all diet, exercise and medication instructions closely and check blood sugar levels regularly. Changes in diet, exercise and medications can affect blood sugar levels, so ask your doctor if you feel modification is needed in your routine or medication dosages.
As with any prescription medication, always take Actos exactly as prescribed by your doctor. The doctor may sometimes adjust dosages based on specific needs to ensure the patient is getting the most benefit from the medication. Usually, patients take Actos twice a day with or without food. While taking the mediation the diabetes patients need to schedule regular visits with their doctor for blood tests. Patients must use Actos as prescribed for best results, and refill the prescription before the medication runs out. If the patient misses a dose of Actos, take it right as soon as it is remembered, unless it close to the next dosage time, then skip that does and return to your normal dosing schedule.
Actos Side Effects
As with all medications, Actos does have both common and serious side effects for diabetes patients. The less serious side effects include:
- Cold symptoms that includes sneezing, coughing, stuffy or runny nose and sore throat
- Gradual weight gain
- Low back pain
- Tooth problems
Seek Medical help immediately if believe you are having an allergic reaction to Actos. Symptoms of an allergic reaction consist of swelling of the tongue, throat or lips, hives or difficulty breathing. Some serious side effects that require emergency medical help include:
- Rapid weight gain or swelling
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness, pale skin, easy bruising
- Dark urine or clay colored stools
- Chest pain
- Blurred vision
- Stomach pain and blood urine
- Increase in hunger or thirst
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Frequent urination
It is possible for patients to experience hypoglycemia or low blood sugar while taking Actos. The symptoms of low blood sugar include weakness, hunger, sweating, irritability, headache and trouble concentrating. You need to know the symptoms of low blood sugar and make sure your family recognizes the symptoms and know how to care for you in an emergency. Carrying glucose tablets or gel with you is a good idea in case you experience hypoglycemia away from home.
Overall, Actos is an effective medication in the treatment of diabetes. In some cases, the doctor may only prescribe Actos when all other diabetic medication has failed to work. Doctors tend to use this medication last because of it can increase the risk of bladder cancer and heart failure. You can only take Actos for one year because of the bladder cancer risks, so other medication choices will need to be discussed with your doctor prior to ending your Actos regime. If you have any concerns about Actos, your doctor or pharmacist is your best source of information and help.