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 more sensitive and responsive to the effects of insulin. Insulin helps to control the level of blood sugar in your body. It works together with lifestyle changes, such as having a healthy diet and regular exercise, to reduce blood sugar levels.

How should I take/use this medication?

This medication is taken once a day. You may take this medication before food or after food.

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

If you missed a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. 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 healthcare professional if you:
  • Are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • Are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Have heart failure (a condition in which your heart is not pumping as well as it should be) 
  • Have a build-up of fluid in your body
  • Have a special type of eye disease associated with diabetes, called macular edema (a condition in which there is swelling because of a build-up of fluid at the part of the eye known as the macula)
  • Have liver problems
  • Have a history of bladder cancer
  • Have a history of fractures

What are some common side effects of this medication?

Like all medications, this medication may cause some possible side effects but not everyone experiences them. Consult your healthcare professional if any of the side effects becomes severe and bothersome.

The common side effects of Pioglitazone include:
  • Leg swelling
  • Headache
  • Inflammation of the sinus and infection of the airways
  • Sore throat
  • Weight gain
    • Exercise regularly to prevent weight gain associated with this medication

What are some rare but serious side effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

If the following serious side effects happen, you should consult your healthcare professional immediately:
  • Bladder cancer. Symptoms of bladder cancer include: 
    • Blood in your urine
    • Pain during urination
    • Poor bladder control
    • Feeling like you need to pass urine more often
  • Heart failure or you feel that your symptoms are becoming worse. Symptoms of worsening heart failure include:
    • Shortness of breath
    • Sudden and rapid increase in your body weight 
    • Excessive leg swelling
  • Liver problems: Dark-coloured urine or light-coloured stools, yellowing of your eyes or skin, severe loss of appetite, stomach pain, nausea or vomiting that does not go away
  • Macular edema (a condition in which there is swelling because of a build-up of fluid at the part of the eye known as the macula). Symptoms of macular edema include: 
    • Blurred vision
    • Change in eyesight 

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

Avoid taking alcohol with this medication as this may increase your risk of having low blood sugar.

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 throw away this medication safely?

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

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Please take note that the above is not a complete list of all possible side effects. If you have any concerns about your medication or if you have other side effects that you think are caused by this medication, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

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, and supported by the Ministry of Health. 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. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Please visit www.moh.gov.sg/knowyourmeds and www.ndf.gov.sg for more information on medication.

Last updated on May 2023

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