Actos pioglitazone benefit and risk, side effects of this medication used for blood sugar control, are there natural alternatives over the counter?
November 14 2016

Actos is a prescription based pharmaceutical drug that works by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin to better control patients’ blood sugar. While it can improve metabolic control in subjects with type 2 diabetes, there is no benefit of adjunctive Actos therapy in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Any individual with diabetes should seriously consider improving their diet by reducing the intake of white bread, white flour, fruit juice more than an ounce or two at a time, and certainly all kinds of regular sodas that are full of sugar. For a natural sugar alternative, see stevia benefit information. Individuals with diabetes should consider supplementing with alpha lipoic acid at 10 to 50 mg two or three times a week.
A combination of hoodia, ginger, green tea extract, spirulina, acetyl l-carnitine, choline, and several other herbs and nutrients is effective for appetite reduction and hence blood sugar reduction. When less food is eaten, there is often a drop in blood sugar levels.  We do not recommend using it together with
tongkat ali supplement herbal pill.

Risks and dangers, adverse reactions
The diabetes drugs Actos and Avandia raise the risk of heart failure and heart disease.

Pioglitazone diabetes drug information
2009 –
People with diabetes taking Actos have a modest increase in risk of developing macular edema in which fluid accumulates in the part of the retina responsible for central vision. Drs. Donald S. Fong and Richard Contreras with Southern California Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena looked at data on some 143,000 patients treated with diabetes medications from 2002 to 2006. Of these subjects, about 17,000 were treated with a glitazone drug, mainly Actos. In 2006, 59,000 of the subjects had at least one eye exam, and this turned up almost 1000 new cases of macular edema. Taking Actos increased the odds of macular edema by 60 percent. Drs. Donald S. Fong and Richard Contreras confirm “an association between glitazone use and macular edema.” American Journal of Ophthalmology, 2009.

2007 – Giving patients a starting dose of Takeda Pharmaceutical’s diabetes drug Actos gives better control of blood sugar and lipid levels than using GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drug Avandia, according to new clinical trial results presented at a medical meeting in Amsterdam, An analysis of data from the first three months of a six-month head-to-head study of the two drugs found a starting dose of 30 milligrams of Actos was more effective than a starting dose of 4 milligrams of Avandia in improving blood sugar levels. The research on the two drugs, known generically as pioglitazone and rosiglitazone, was presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

2007 – The diabetes drugs Avandia and Actos will be labeled with severe warnings about a risk of heart failure to some patients. The makers of the drugs, GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., have agreed to add the “black-box” warnings. The warnings, the most severe that prescription drugs can bear, stress the medicines may cause or worsen heart failure and that patients should be closely monitored.

Actos and insulin
Adding this diabetes drug to insulin does not improve blood sugar control and may cause weight gain in adolescents who have type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes who show signs of insulin resistance. In theory, increasing the insulin dosage to overcome insulin resistance should be enough to improve blood sugar control in adolescent type 1 diabetics, notes Dr. Jill Hamilton, from the Hospital of Sick Children in Toronto. In the current study, 35 teens with type 1 diabetes took Actos or placebo in addition to standard insulin therapy for 6 months. All of them had suboptimal metabolic control on insulin alone. Participation in the trial was associated with significant improvement in metabolic control. However, Actos was no better than placebo in improving control as determined by favorable changes in hemoglobin A1C (an indicator of blood sugar) as well as the required insulin dose. Moreover, the medication was associated with weight gain. The Journal of Pediatrics, 2006.