Generic name: Pioglitazone hydrochloride, Metformin hydrochlorideBrand names: ACTOplus met
ACTOplus met is used to treat type 2 diabetes. It contains two medications, pioglitazone and metformin, that work together to help keep blood sugar levels under control. Type 2 diabetes usually stems from the body's inability to make good use of insulin, the natural hormone that helps to transfer sugar out of the blood and into the cells, where it's converted to energy. ACTOplus met works by improving your body's response to its own natural insulin supply. It also helps decrease sugar production and absorption.
Always remember that ACTOplus met is an aid to, not a substitute for, good diet and exercise. Failure to follow a sound diet and exercise plan can lead to serious complications, such as dangerously high or low blood sugar levels. Remember, too, that ACTOplus met is not an oral form of insulin, and cannot be used in place of insulin.
A small number of people who have taken metformin, one of the two drugs that make up ACTOplus met, have developed a serious condition called lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is caused by a buildup of lactic acid in the blood. Lactic acidosis happens most often in people with kidney problems. Because of this, people with kidney problems should not take ACTOplus met.
Take ACTOplus met with meals to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea.
While you are taking ACTOplus met, you should also exercise and follow the diet recommended by your doctor. Diet and exercise are important for keeping your blood sugar levels under control.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking ACTOplus met.
Do not take ACTOplus met if you have kidney or liver problems, or if you have a history of metabolic ketoacidosis, including diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis should be treated with insulin.
ACTOplus met should be temporarily discontinued before having surgery or any x-ray procedure done with an injection of dyes (known as contrast agents). Talk to your doctor about when to stop ACTOplus met before your surgery or procedure and when to start it again afterward.
You should not take ACTOplus met if you are allergic to pioglitazone, metformin, or any of the drug's other ingredients.
Tell your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney or liver problems; heart or vascular problems, including a stroke or heart attack; or a history of alcoholism.
During periods of stress—such as infection, fever, trauma, or dehydration due to diarrhea or vomiting—your medication requirements may change. Be sure to consult your doctor during such times.
For further recommendations, see the individual entries for pioglitazone (Actos) and metformin.Possible food and drug interactions when taking ACTOplus metplus met
Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with ACTOplus met. Also avoid drinking a lot of alcohol while taking ACTOplus met. This means you should not binge drink, and you should not drink a lot of alcohol on a regular basis. Drinking too much alcohol can increase your chances of developing lactic acidosis.
It is possible that ACTOplus met may reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills containing ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone. To guard against an unwanted pregnancy, be sure to use some other form of contraception.
For a list of drugs that may interact with ACTOplus met, see the individual entries for pioglitazone (Actos) and metformin.
The effects of ACTOplus met during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. You may have to switch to insulin during your pregnancy, since normal blood sugar levels are very important for the developing baby.
It is not known whether ACTOplus met appears in breast milk. For safety's sake, do not use ACTOplus met while breastfeeding.
ACTOplus met is available in two tablet strengths: 15 milligrams/500 milligrams or 15 milligrams/850 milligrams, with the first number being the amount of pioglitazone and the second number being the amount of metformin. The usual starting dose is one tablet taken once or twice a day. Your doctor may increase the dose based on your body's response.
The effects of a massive overdose are unknown. However, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.