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  • Generic Name: (metformin hydrochloride/pioglitazone)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 07/2016
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Actoplus Met XR is a medicine used along with diet and exercise to help control high blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. Actoplus Met XR contains two medicines that work together to lower your blood sugar levels: pioglitazone and metformin.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Actoplus Met XR is an extended-release medicine (a type of tablet that releases medicine into your body throughout the day). Both pioglitazone and metformin help your body respond better to the insulin it makes naturally. Metformin also decreases the amount of sugar your liver makes and the amount of sugar your intestines absorb. Together, they help to control your blood sugar.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: Lowering your blood sugar to a normal level may prevent or delay potential complications associated with diabetes, such as blindness, kidney failure, or heart problems. Also, the combination of medicines in Actoplus Met XR provides better control of blood sugar compared to metformin alone.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's instructions. It is important that you take Actoplus Met XR exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

      How do I know it is working?

      Check your blood sugar as instructed by your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider may also do regular blood tests to measure your blood sugar levels and your hemoglobin A1C (measures your average blood sugar levels over a 2- to 3-month period). Stay on your prescribed diet and exercise program, as this may also affect the results of your blood tests.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      Pioglitazone, one of the medicines in Actoplus Met XR, can cause your body to keep extra fluid (fluid retention), which leads to swelling and weight gain. Extra body fluid can make some heart problems worse or lead to heart failure. Do not take Actoplus Met XR if you have severe heart failure. If you have heart failure with symptoms (such as shortness of breath or swelling), even if these symptoms are not severe, Actoplus Met XR may not be right for you. Call your healthcare provider right away if you experience swelling or fluid retention, especially in your ankles or legs; shortness of breath or trouble breathing, especially when you lie down; an unusually fast increase in weight; or unusual tiredness.

      Metformin, one of the medicines in Actoplus Met XR, can cause a rare but serious condition called lactic acidosis (a build-up of an acid in the blood) that can be life-threatening. Lactic acidosis is a medical emergency and must be treated in the hospital. Call your healthcare provider right away if you feel cold in your hands or feet; feel dizzy or lightheaded; have a slow or irregular heartbeat; feel weak or tired; have unusual muscle pain; have trouble breathing; feel sleepy or drowsy; or have stomach pains, nausea, or vomiting.

      Most people who have had lactic acidosis with metformin have other things that, combined with the metformin, led to the lactic acidosis. You have a higher chance for getting lactic acidosis if you have severe kidney problems or your kidneys are affected by certain x-ray tests that use injectable dye; take certain medicines; are 65 years or older; have surgery; become dehydrated (lose a large amount of body fluids); have a heart attack, severe infection, or stroke; drink alcohol very often, or drink a lot of alcohol in short-term (binge drinking); or have liver problems.

      More common side effects may include: cold-like symptoms (upper respiratory infection), swelling, diarrhea, headache, weight gain.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Low blood sugar, with symptoms such as lightheadedness, dizziness, shakiness, or hunger. This can happen if you skip meals, if you also use another medicine that lowers blood sugar, or if you have certain medical problems.

      Liver problems, with symptoms such as nausea or vomiting, stomach pain, unusual tiredness, loss of appetite, dark urine, or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

      Increased risk of bladder cancer, with symptoms such as blood or a red color in your urine, an increased need to urinate, or pain while you urinate. You should not take Actoplus Met XR if you are receiving treatment for bladder cancer.

      Broken bones (fractures), usually in the hand, upper arm, or foot in women.

      Macular edema (diabetic eye disease with swelling in the back of the eye) with changes in vision.

      Ovulation (release of an egg from an ovary in a woman) leading to pregnancy. Ovulation may happen when premenopausal women who do not have regular monthly periods take Actoplus Met XR. This can increase your chance of getting pregnant.

      Actoplus Met XR may also decrease vitamin B12 levels in your blood. Your healthcare provider may check your vitamin B12 levels periodically while you are taking Actoplus Met XR.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take Actoplus Met XR if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

      Do not take Actoplus Met XR if you have severe heart failure or severe kidney problems.

      Do not take Actoplus Met XR if you have metabolic acidosis (a condition in which there is too much acid in the body).

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Actoplus Met XR. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart failure, kidney or liver problems, macular edema, or type 1 (juvenile) diabetes; had diabetic ketoacidosis; are going to have dye injected into a vein for an x-ray, CAT scan, heart study, or other type of scanning; will be undergoing a surgical procedure; drink a lot of alcohol (all the time or short binge drinking); have or have had cancer of the bladder; are a premenopausal woman who does not have periods regularly or at all; are pregnant; plan to become pregnant; or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you based on your condition and previous diabetes medication, and may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

      If you are also using insulin or taking another diabetes medicine called a sulfonylurea (such as glimepiride, glipizide, or glyburide), your healthcare provider may adjust the dose of these medicines.

      If you have kidney problems or are taking certain other medications, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.

      If your body is under some types of stress such as a fever, infection, trauma (such as a car accident), or surgery, your healthcare provider may need to adjust your diabetes medicine.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take Actoplus Met XR exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Actoplus Met XR without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      Take Actoplus Met XR once a day with meals to lower your chance of an upset stomach.

      Swallow Actoplus Met XR tablets whole. Do not chew, cut, or crush the tablets.

      When you take Actoplus Met XR, you may see something that looks like a tablet in your stools. This is normal.

      Stay on your diet and exercise programs and test your blood sugar regularly while taking Actoplus Met XR.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not drink alcohol very often or binge drink while taking Actoplus Met XR. Alcohol can increase your chance of developing lactic acidosis.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Actoplus Met XR is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Actoplus Met XR may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      The effects of Actoplus Met XR during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Actoplus Met XR. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Actoplus Met XR, take your next dose as prescribed unless your healthcare provider tells you differently. Do not take two doses at one time the next day.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature. Protect from moisture and humidity.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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