Presentation and Status in Health Basket
28 X 15 mg
28 X 30 mg
28 X 45 mg
Pioglitazone tablets are taken orally once daily with or without food. Tablets should be swallowed with a glass of water. Pioglitazone treatment may be initiated at 15 mg or 30 mg once daily. The dose may be increased in increments up to 45 mg once daily. In combination with insulin, the current insulin dose can be continued upon initiation of pioglitazone therapy. If patients report hypoglycaemia, the dose of insulin should be decreased.
Elderly: No dose adjustment is necessary for elderly patients Physicians should start treatment with the lowest available dose and increase the dose gradually, particularly when pioglitazone is used in combination with insulin.
Renal impairment: No dose adjustment is necessary in patients with impaired renal function (creatinine clearance > 4 ml/min) No information is available from dialysed patients therefore pioglitazone should not be used in such patients.
Hepatic impairment: Pioglitazone should not be used in patients with hepatic impairment Paediatric population: The safety and efficacy of Actos in children and adolescents under 18 years of age have not been established. No data are available.
Pioglitazone is indicated as second or third line treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus as described below: as monotherapy in adult patients (particularly overweight patients) inadequately controlled by diet and exercise for whom metformin is inappropriate because of contraindications or intolerance. As dual oral therapy in combination with metformin, in adult patients (particularly overweight patients) with insufficient glycaemic control despite maximal tolerated dose of monotherapy with metformin a sulphonylurea, only in adult patients who show intolerance to metformin or for whom metformin is contraindicated, with insufficient glycaemic control despite maximal tolerated dose of monotherapy with a sulphonylurea. As triple oral therapy in combination with metformin and a sulphonylurea, in adult patients (particularly overweight patients) with insufficient glycaemic control despite dual oral therapy. Pioglitazone is also indicated for combination with insulin in type 2 diabetes mellitus adult patients with insufficient glycaemic control on insulin for whom metformin is inappropriate because of contraindications or intolerance. After initiation of therapy with pioglitazone, patients should be reviewed after 3 to 6 months to assess adequacy of response to treatment (e.g. reduction in HbA1c). In patients who fail to show an adequate response, pioglitazone should be discontinued. In light of potential risks with prolonged therapy, prescribers should confirm at subsequent routine reviews that the benefit of pioglitazone is maintained.
Pioglitazone is contraindicated in patients with: hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients, cardiac failure or history of cardiac failure (NYHA stages I to IV), hepatic impairment, diabetic ketoacidosis, current bladder cancer or a history of bladder cancer, uninvestigated macroscopic haematuria.
Fluid retention and cardiac failure: Pioglitazone can cause fluid retention, which may exacerbate or precipitate heart failure. When treating patients who have at least one risk factor for development of congestive heart failure (e.g. prior myocardial infarction or symptomatic coronary artery disease or the elderly), physicians should start with the lowest available dose and increase the dose gradually. Patients should be observed for signs and symptoms of heart failure, weight gain or oedema; particularly those with reduced cardiac reserve. There have been post-marketing cases of cardiac failure reported when pioglitazone was used in combination with insulin or in patients with a history of cardiac failure. Patients should be observed for signs and symptoms of heart failure, weight gain and oedema when pioglitazone is used in combination with insulin. Since insulin and pioglitazone are both associated with fluid retention, concomitant administration may increase the risk of oedema. Post marketing cases of peripheral oedema and cardiac failure have also been reported in patients with concomitant use of pioglitazone and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including selective COX-2 inhibitors. Pioglitazone should be discontinued if any deterioration in cardiac status occurs. A cardiovascular outcome study of pioglitazone has been performed in patients under 75 years with type 2 diabetes mellitus and pre-existing major macrovascular disease. Pioglitazone or placebo was added to existing antidiabetic and cardiovascular therapy for up to 3.5 years. This study showed an increase in reports of heart failure, however this did not lead to an increase in mortality in this study.
Elderly: Combination use with insulin should be considered with caution in the elderly because of increased risk of serious heart failure. In light of age- related risks (especially bladder cancer, fractures and heart failure), the balance of benefits and risks should be considered carefully both before and during treatment in the elderly.
Bladder Cancer: Cases of bladder cancer were reported more frequently in a meta-analysis of controlled clinical trials with pioglitazone (19 cases from 12506 patients, 0.15%) than in control groups (7 cases from 10212 patients, 0.07%) HR=2.64 (95% CI 1.11-6.31, P=0.029). After excluding patients in whom exposure to study drug was less than one year at the time of diagnosis of bladder cancer, there were 7 cases (0.06%) on pioglitazone and 2 cases (0.02%) in control groups. Available epidemiological data also suggest a small increased risk of bladder cancer in diabetic patients treated with pioglitazone in particular in patients treated for the longest durations and with the highest cumulative doses. A possible risk after short term treatment cannot be excluded. Risk factors for bladder cancer should be assessed before initiating pioglitazone treatment (risks include age, smoking history, exposure to some occupational or chemotherapy agents e.g. cyclophosphamide or prior radiation treatment in the pelvic region). Any macroscopic haematuria should be investigated before starting pioglitazone therapy.Patients should be advised to promptly seek the attention of their physician if macroscopic haematuria or other symptoms such as dysuria or urinary urgency develop during treatment.
For full details see prescribing information.
Visual disturbance has been reported mainly early in treatment and is related to changes in blood glucose due to temporary alteration in the turgidity and refractive index of the lens as seen with other hypoglycaemic treatments. Oedema was reported in 6–9% of patients treated with pioglitazone over one year in controlled clinical trials. The oedema rates for comparator groups (sulphonylurea, metformin) were 2–5%. The reports of oedema were generally mild to moderate and usually did not require discontinuation of treatment. In controlled clinical trials the incidence of reports of heart failure with pioglitazone treatment was the same as in placebo, metformin and sulphonylurea treatment groups, but was increased when used in combination therapy with insulin. In an outcome study of patients with pre-existing major
macrovascular disease, the incidence of serious heart failure was 1.6% higher with pioglitazone than with placebo, when added to therapy that included insulin. However, this did not lead to an increase in mortality in this study. In this study in patients receiving pioglitazone and insulin, a higher percentage of patients with heart failure was observed in patients aged ≥65 years compared with those less than 65 years (9.7% compared to 4.0%). In patients on insulin with no pioglitazone the incidence of heart failure was 8.2% in those ≥65 years compared to 4.0% in patients less than 65 years. Heart failure has been reported rarely with marketing use of pioglitazone, but more frequently when pioglitazone was used in combination with insulin or in patients with a history of cardiac failure. A pooled analysis was conducted of adverse reactions of bone fractures from randomised, comparator controlled, double blind clinical trials in over 8100 patients in the pioglitazone-treated groups and 7400 in the comparator-treated groups of up to 3.5 years duration. A higher rate of fractures was observed in women taking pioglitazone (2.6%) versus comparator (1.7%). No increase in fracture rates was observed in men treated with pioglitazone (1.3%) versus comparator (1.5%). In the 3.5 year PROactive study, 44/870 (5.1%) of pioglitazone-treated female patients experienced fractures compared to 23/905 (2.5%) of female patients treated with comparator. No increase in fracture rates was observed in men treated with pioglitazone (1.7%) versus comparator (2.1%). In active comparator controlled trials mean weight increase with pioglitazone given as
monotherapy was 2–3 kg over one year. This is similar to that seen in a sulphonylurea active comparator group. In combination trials pioglitazone added to metformin resulted in mean weight increase over one year of 1.5 kg and added to a sulphonylurea of 2.8 kg. In comparator groups addition of sulphonylurea to metformin resulted in a mean weight gain of 1.3 kg and addition of metformin to a sulphonylurea a mean weight loss of 1.0 kg. In clinical trials with pioglitazone the incidence of elevations of ALT greater than three times the
upper limit of normal was equal to placebo but less than that seen in metformin or sulphonylurea comparator groups. Mean levels of liver enzymes decreased with treatment with pioglitazone. Rare cases of elevated liver enzymes and hepatocellular dysfunction have occurred in post-marketing experience. Although in very rare cases fatal outcome has been reported, causal relationship has not been established.
For full details see prescribing information.
Pregnancy and Lactation
Pregnancy: There are no adequate human data to determine the safety of pioglitazone during pregnancy. Foetal growth restriction was apparent in animal studies with pioglitazone. This was attributable to the action of pioglitazone in diminishing the maternal hyperinsulinaemia and increased insulin resistance that occurs during pregnancy thereby reducing the availability of metabolic substrates for foetal growth. The relevance of such a mechanism in humans is unclear and pioglitazone should not be used in pregnancy.
Lactation: Pioglitazone has been shown to be present in the milk of lactating rats. It is not known whether pioglitazone is secreted in human milk. Therefore, pioglitazone should not be administered to breast-feeding women.