Actos (Page 3 of 7)

6.2 Laboratory Abnormalities

Hematologic Effects: ACTOS may cause decreases in hemoglobin and hematocrit. In placebo-controlled monotherapy trials, mean hemoglobin values declined by 2% to 4% in patients treated with ACTOS compared with a mean change in hemoglobin of -1% to +1% in placebo-treated patients. These changes primarily occurred within the first 4 to 12 weeks of therapy and remained relatively constant thereafter. These changes may be related to increased plasma volume associated with ACTOS therapy and are not likely to be associated with any clinically significant hematologic effects.

Creatine Phosphokinase: During protocol-specified measurement of serum creatine phosphokinase (CPK) in ACTOS clinical trials, an isolated elevation in CPK to greater than 10 times the upper limit of the reference range was noted in 9 (0.2%) patients treated with ACTOS (values of 2150 to 11400 IU/L) and in no comparator-treated patients. Six of these nine patients continued to receive ACTOS, two patients were noted to have the CPK elevation on the last day of dosing and one patient discontinued ACTOS due to the elevation. These elevations resolved without any apparent clinical sequelae. The relationship of these events to ACTOS therapy is unknown.

6.3 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of ACTOS. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is generally not possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Postmarketing reports of congestive heart failure have been reported in patients treated with ACTOS, both with and without previously known heart disease and both with and without concomitant insulin administration.

In postmarketing experience, there have been reports of unusually rapid increases in weight and increases in excess of that generally observed in clinical trials. Patients who experience such increases should be assessed for fluid accumulation and volume-related events such as excessive edema and congestive heart failure [see Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].


7.1 Strong CYP2C8 Inhibitors

An inhibitor of CYP2C8 (e.g., gemfibrozil) significantly increases the exposure (area under the serum concentration-time curve or AUC) and half-life of pioglitazone. Therefore, the maximum recommended dose of ACTOS is 15 mg daily if used in combination with gemfibrozil or other strong CYP2C8 inhibitors [see Dosage and Administration (2.3) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

7.2 CYP2C8 Inducers

An inducer of CYP2C8 (e.g., rifampin) may significantly decrease the exposure (AUC) of pioglitazone. Therefore, if an inducer of CYP2C8 is started or stopped during treatment with ACTOS, changes in diabetes treatment may be needed based on clinical response without exceeding the maximum recommended daily dose of 45 mg for ACTOS [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].


8.1 Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category C. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of ACTOS in pregnant women. Animal studies show increased rates of post-implantation loss, delayed development, reduced fetal weights, and delayed parturition at doses 10 to 40 times the maximum recommended human dose. ACTOS should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Clinical Considerations: Abnormal blood glucose concentrations during pregnancy are associated with a higher incidence of congenital anomalies, as well as increased neonatal morbidity and mortality. Most experts recommend the use of insulin during pregnancy to maintain blood glucose concentrations as close to normal as possible for patients with diabetes.

Animal Data: In animal reproductive studies, pregnant rats and rabbits received pioglitazone at doses up to approximately 17 (rat) and 40 (rabbit) times the maximum recommended human oral dose (MRHD) based on body surface area (mg/m2); no teratogenicity was observed [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.3)]. Increases in embryotoxicity (increased postimplantation losses, delayed development, reduced fetal weights, and delayed parturition) occurred in rats that received oral doses approximately 10 or more times the MRHD (mg/m2 basis). No functional or behavioral toxicity was observed in rat offspring. When pregnant rats received pioglitazone during late gestation and lactation, delayed postnatal development, attributed to decreased body weight, occurred in rat offspring at oral maternal doses approximately 2 or more times the MRHD (mg/m2 basis). In rabbits, embryotoxicity occurred at oral doses approximately 40 times the MRHD (mg/m2 basis).

8.3 Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether ACTOS is secreted in human milk. Pioglitazone is secreted in the milk of lactating rats. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, and because of the potential for ACTOS to cause serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, a decision should be made to discontinue nursing or discontinue ACTOS, taking into account the importance of ACTOS to the mother.

8.4 Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness of ACTOS in pediatric patients have not been established.

Use in pediatric patients is not recommended for the treatment of diabetes due to lack of long-term safety data. Risks including fractures and other adverse effects associated with ACTOS have not been determined in this population [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

8.5 Geriatric Use

A total of 92 patients (15.2%) treated with ACTOS in the three pooled 16 to 26-week double-blind, placebo-controlled, monotherapy, trials were ≥65 years old and 2 patients (0.3%) were ≥75 years old. In the two pooled 16 to 24-week add-on to sulfonylurea trials, 201 patients (18.7 %) treated with ACTOS were ≥ 65 years old and 19 (1.8%) were ≥ 75 years old. In the two pooled 16 to 24 week add-on to metformin trials, 155 patients (15.5%) treated with ACTOS were ≥65 years old and 19 (1.9%) were ≥75 years old. In the two pooled 16 to 24 week add-on to insulin trials, 272 patients (25.4%) treated with ACTOS were ≥65 years old and 22 (2.1%) were ≥75 years old.

In PROactive, 1068 patients (41.0%) treated with ACTOS were ≥65 years old and 42 (1.6%) were ≥75 years old.

In pharmacokinetic studies with pioglitazone, no significant differences were observed in pharmacokinetic parameters between elderly and younger patients. These clinical experiences have not identified differences in effectiveness and safety between the elderly (≥ 65 years) and younger patients although small sample sizes for patients ≥75 years old limit conclusions [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].


During controlled clinical trials, one case of overdose with ACTOS was reported. A male patient took 120 mg per day for four days, then 180 mg per day for seven days. The patient denied any clinical symptoms during this period.

In the event of overdosage, appropriate supportive treatment should be initiated according to the patient’s clinical signs and symptoms.


ACTOS (pioglitazone hydrochloride) is an oral antidiabetic medication.

Pioglitazone [(±)-5-[[4-[2-(5-ethyl-2-pyridinyl) ethoxy] phenyl] methyl]-2,4-] thiazolidinedione monohydrochloride contains one asymmetric carbon, and the compound is synthesized and used as the racemic mixture. The two enantiomers of pioglitazone interconvert in vivo. No differences were found in the pharmacologic activity between the two enantiomers. The structural formula is as shown:

Chemical Structure
(click image for full-size original)

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 daltons. 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.

ACTOS is available as a tablet for oral administration containing 15 mg, 30 mg, or 45 mg of pioglitazone (as the base) formulated with the following excipients: lactose monohydrate NF, hydroxypropylcellulose NF, carboxymethylcellulose calcium NF, and magnesium stearate NF.

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