Actoplus Met

ACTOPLUS MET — pioglitazone hydrochloride and metformin hydrochloride tablet, film coated
Physicians Total Care, Inc.


  • Thiazolidinediones, including pioglitazone, which is a component of ACTOPLUS MET, cause or exacerbate congestive heart failure in some patients (see WARNINGS, Pioglitazone hydrochloride). After initiation of ACTOPLUS MET, and after dose increases, observe patients carefully for signs and symptoms of heart failure (including excessive, rapid weight gain, dyspnea, and/or edema). If these signs and symptoms develop, the heart failure should be managed according to the current standards of care. Furthermore, discontinuation or dose reduction of ACTOPLUS MET must be considered.
  • ACTOPLUS MET is not recommended in patients with symptomatic heart failure. Initiation of ACTOPLUS MET in patients with established NYHA Class III or IV heart failure is contraindicated (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS, Pioglitazone hydrochloride).


ACTOPLUS MET® (pioglitazone hydrochloride and metformin hydrochloride) tablets contain two oral antihyperglycemic drugs used in the management of type 2 diabetes: pioglitazone hydrochloride and metformin hydrochloride. The concomitant use of pioglitazone and metformin has been previously approved based on clinical trials in patients with type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled on metformin. Additional efficacy and safety information about pioglitazone and metformin monotherapies may be found in the prescribing information for each individual drug.

Pioglitazone hydrochloride is an oral antihyperglycemic agent that acts primarily by decreasing insulin resistance. Pioglitazone is used in the management of type 2 diabetes. Pharmacological studies indicate that pioglitazone improves sensitivity to insulin in muscle and adipose tissue and inhibits hepatic gluconeogenesis. Pioglitazone improves glycemic control while reducing circulating insulin levels.

Pioglitazone [(±)-5-[[4-[2-(5-ethyl-2-pyridinyl)ethoxy]phenyl]methyl]-2,4-] thiazolidinedione monohydrochloride belongs to a different chemical class and has a different pharmacological action than the sulfonylureas, biguanides, or the α-glucosidase inhibitors. The molecule contains one asymmetric center, and the synthetic compound is a racemate. The two enantiomers of pioglitazone interconvert in vivo. The structural formula is as shown:

Chemical Structure
(click image for full-size original)

pioglitazone hydrochloride

Pioglitazone hydrochloride is an odorless white crystalline powder that has a molecular formula of C19 H20 N2 O3 S•HCl and a molecular weight of 392.90. It is soluble in N,N -dimethylformamide, slightly soluble in anhydrous ethanol, very slightly soluble in acetone and acetonitrile, practically insoluble in water, and insoluble in ether.

Metformin hydrochloride (N,N -dimethylimidodicarbonimidic diamide hydrochloride) is not chemically or pharmacologically related to any other classes of oral antihyperglycemic agents. Metformin hydrochloride is a white crystalline powder with a molecular formula of C4 H11 N5 •HCl and a molecular weight of 165.62. Metformin hydrochloride is freely soluble in water and is practically insoluble in acetone, ether, and chloroform. The pKa of metformin is 12.4. The pH of a 1% aqueous solution of metformin hydrochloride is 6.68. The structural formula is as shown:

Chemical Structure

metformin hydrochloride

ACTOPLUS MET is available as a tablet for oral administration containing 15 mg pioglitazone hydrochloride (as the base) with 500 mg metformin hydrochloride (15 mg/500 mg) or 15 mg pioglitazone hydrochloride (as the base) with 850 mg metformin hydrochloride (15 mg/850 mg) formulated with the following excipients: povidone USP, microcrystalline cellulose NF, croscarmellose sodium NF, magnesium stearate NF, hypromellose 2910 USP, polyethylene glycol 8000 NF, titanium dioxide USP, and talc USP.


Mechanism of Action


ACTOPLUS MET combines two antihyperglycemic agents with different mechanisms of action to improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes: pioglitazone hydrochloride, a member of the thiazolidinedione class, and metformin hydrochloride, a member of the biguanide class. Thiazolidinediones are insulin-sensitizing agents that act primarily by enhancing peripheral glucose utilization, whereas biguanides act primarily by decreasing endogenous hepatic glucose production.

Pioglitazone hydrochloride

Pioglitazone depends on the presence of insulin for its mechanism of action. Pioglitazone decreases insulin resistance in the periphery and in the liver resulting in increased insulin-dependent glucose disposal and decreased hepatic glucose output. Unlike sulfonylureas, pioglitazone is not an insulin secretagogue. Pioglitazone is a potent and highly selective agonist for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ). PPAR receptors are found in tissues important for insulin action such as adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, and liver. Activation of PPARγ nuclear receptors modulates the transcription of a number of insulin responsive genes involved in the control of glucose and lipid metabolism.

In animal models of diabetes, pioglitazone reduces the hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and hypertriglyceridemia characteristic of insulin-resistant states such as type 2 diabetes. The metabolic changes produced by pioglitazone result in increased responsiveness of insulin-dependent tissues and are observed in numerous animal models of insulin resistance.

Since pioglitazone enhances the effects of circulating insulin (by decreasing insulin resistance), it does not lower blood glucose in animal models that lack endogenous insulin.

Metformin hydrochloride

Metformin hydrochloride improves glucose tolerance in patients with type 2 diabetes, lowering both basal and postprandial plasma glucose. Metformin decreases hepatic glucose production, decreases intestinal absorption of glucose and improves insulin sensitivity by increasing peripheral glucose uptake and utilization. Unlike sulfonylureas, metformin does not produce hypoglycemia in either patients with type 2 diabetes or normal subjects (except in special circumstances, see PRECAUTIONS, General: Metformin hydrochloride) and does not cause hyperinsulinemia. With metformin therapy, insulin secretion remains unchanged while fasting insulin levels and day-long plasma insulin response may actually decrease.

Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism

Absorption and Bioavailability:


In bioequivalence studies of ACTOPLUS MET 15 mg/500 mg and 15 mg/850 mg, the area under the curve (AUC) and maximum concentration (Cmax ) of both the pioglitazone and the metformin component following a single dose of the combination tablet were bioequivalent to ACTOS® 15 mg concomitantly administered with Glucophage® (500 mg or 850 mg respectively) tablets under fasted conditions in healthy subjects (Table 1).

Table 1. Mean (SD) Pharmacokinetic Parameters for ACTOPLUS MET®
Regimen N AUC(0-inf)(ng∙ h/mL) N Cmax (ng/mL) N Tmax (h) N T1/2 (h)
pioglitazone HCl
15 mg/500 mg ACTOPLUS MET® 51 5984(1599) 63 585(198) 63 1.83(0.93) 51 8.69(3.86)
15 mg ACTOS® and 500 mg Glucophage® 54 5810(1472) 63 608(204) 63 1.75(0.90) 54 7.90(3.08)
15 mg/850 mg ACTOPLUS MET® 52 5671(1585) 60 569(222) 60 1.89(0.80) 52 7.19(1.84)
15 mg ACTOS® and 850 mg Glucophage® 55 5957(1680) 61 603(239) 61 2.01(1.54) 55 7.16(1.85)
metformin HCl
15 mg/500 mg ACTOPLUS MET® 59 7783(2266) 63 1203 (325) 63 2.32(0.88) 59 8.57(14.30)
15 mg ACTOS® and 500 mg Glucophage® 59 7599(2385) 63 1215 (329) 63 2.53(0.95) 59 6.73(5.87)
15 mg/850 mg ACTOPLUS MET® 47 11927 (3311) 60 1827 (536) 60 2.41(0.91) 47 17.56(20.08)
15 mg ACTOS® and 850 mg Glucophage® 52 11569 (3494) 61 1797 (525) 61 2.26(0.85) 52 17.01(18.09)

Administration of ACTOPLUS MET 15 mg/850 mg with food resulted in no change in overall exposure of pioglitazone. With metformin there was no change in AUC; however mean peak serum concentration of metformin was decreased by 28% when administered with food. A delayed time to peak serum concentration was observed for both components (1.9 hours for pioglitazone and 0.8 hours for metformin) under fed conditions. These changes are not likely to be clinically significant.

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