What is this medication for?
This combination medication is used to control blood glucose (sugar) levels for people with type 2 diabetes (formerly known as non-insulin dependent diabetes). The two ingredients, pioglitazone and metformin, have different but complimentary actions that help reduce blood glucose levels.
Pioglitazone belongs to the class of medications known as thiazolidinediones. Pioglitazone reduces blood glucose by helping insulin work and enabling the body to use glucose more effectively. Metformin works by reducing the amount of glucose made by the liver and by making it easier for glucose to enter the tissues of the body.
When used in combination with a proper diet and exercise (with or without other diabetes medications), this medication will help to control blood glucose levels effectively and reduce the risk of complications of diabetes (e.g., kidney disease, eye problems, nerve problems).
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Actoplus Met® XR is available as:
- 15 mg pioglitazone per 1,000 mg metformin
- 30 mg pioglitazone per 1,000 mg metformin
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
The usual starting dose of this combination medication depends on individual needs and circumstances.
The usual starting dose is 15 mg to 30 mg of pioglitazone and 850 mg to 1,000 mg of metformin daily. One tablet is taken once or twice daily with food. For the extended-release form, one tablet is taken once daily with the evening meal.
For people switching from combination therapy of pioglitazone and metformin taken as separate tablets, the starting dose is based on the doses of pioglitazone and metformin already being taken.
Diet and exercise programs should be continued while taking pioglitazone - metformin. Your doctor may decide to increase the dose of pioglitazone - metformin to a maximum of 45 mg of pioglitazone and 2,550 mg of metformin daily if lower doses do not sufficiently reduce your blood sugar levels.
This medication should be taken with food to minimize stomach upset. It should be taken at the same time each day for optimal control of blood sugar levels.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to pioglitazone, metformin, or any ingredients of the medication
- have acute or chronic metabolic acidosis, with or without coma
- have severe heart failure (NYHA Class III or IV)