Pioglitazone

Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

It is used to control diabetes and helps to bring your blood sugar levels down by making your body tissues more sensitive to the effects of insulin. Insulin helps to control the level of blood sugar in your body.

How should I take/use this medication?

This medicine is taken once a day, with or without food.

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Remember to take it with food. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only the usual dose. Do not double your dose or use extra medication to make up for the missed dose.

What precautions should I take?

Inform your doctor if 
  • you are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • you suffer from heart failure, a condition where your heart is not pumping as well as it should be 
  • you have buildup of fluid in the body
  • you have a special type of eye disease associated with diabetes, called macular edema (swelling of the back of the eye)
  • you have liver problems 
  • you have a history of bladder cancer
  • you have a history of fractures

What are some side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

Very rarely, this medication can cause bladder cancer. Symptoms of bladder cancer include blood in your urine, pain when urinating or being unable to control your bladder. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your healthcare professional as soon as possible. 

Consult your healthcare professional immediately if 
  • you suffer from heart failure and feel that your symptoms are becoming worse. Symptoms of worsening heart failure include shortness of breath, increase in body weight in a short period of time and leg swelling. 
  • you experience dark urine or light coloured stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, or yellowing of your eyes or skin.

What are some other side-effects of this medication?

The side effects include swelling of legs, headache, changes in vision (blurred vision), inflammation of the sinus and infection of the airways. 

You may also gain weight with Pioglitazone. You are encouraged to exercise regularly to prevent weight gain associated with this medication.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Avoid taking alcohol with this medication.

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children.

How should I dispose of this medication safely?

Pack this medicine into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin. 

Disclaimers
If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.


This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore.

Last updated on May 2019

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Pioglitazone

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