- 15-mg/500-mg tablets: White to off-white, oblong, film-coated tablets debossed with “4833M” on one side and “15/500″ on the other
- 15-mg/850-mg tablets: White to off-white, oblong, film-coated tablets debossed with “4833M” on one side and “15/850″ on the other
Do not initiate in patients with NYHA Class III or IV heart failure [see Boxed Warning]. In addition, pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets are contraindicated in patients with:
- Renal impairment (e.g., serum creatinine levels ≥1.5 mg/dL [males], ≥1.4 mg/dL [females], or abnormal creatinine clearance) which may also result from conditions such as cardiovascular collapse (shock), acute myocardial infarction, and septicemia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.10)].
- Known hypersensitivity to pioglitazone, metformin, or any other component of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets.
- Metabolic acidosis, including diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis should be treated with insulin.
Pioglitazone, like other thiazolidinediones, can cause dose-related fluid retention when used alone or in combination with other antidiabetic medications and is most common when pioglitazone is used in combination with insulin. Fluid retention may lead to or exacerbate congestive heart failure. Patients treated with pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets should be observed for signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure. If congestive heart failure develops, it should be managed according to current standards of care and discontinuation or dose reduction of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets must be considered [see Boxed Warning , Contraindications (4), and Adverse Reactions (6.1)].
Lactic acidosis is a serious, metabolic complication that can occur due to metformin accumulation during treatment with pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets and, it is fatal in approximately 50% of cases. Lactic acidosis may also occur in association with a number of pathophysiologic conditions, including diabetes mellitus, and whenever there is significant tissue hypoperfusion and hypoxemia. Lactic acidosis is characterized by elevated blood lactate concentrations (>5 mmol/L), decreased blood pH, electrolyte disturbances with an increased anion gap, and an increased lactate/pyruvate ratio. When metformin is implicated as the cause of lactic acidosis, metformin plasma levels >5 mcg/mL are generally found.
The reported incidence of lactic acidosis in patients receiving metformin hydrochloride is approximately 0.03 cases/1000 patient-years, with approximately 0.015 fatal cases/1000 patient-years. In more than 20,000 patient-years, exposure to metformin in clinical trials, there were no reports of lactic acidosis. Reported cases have occurred primarily in diabetic patients with significant renal impairment, including both intrinsic renal disease and renal hypoperfusion, often in the setting of multiple concomitant medical/surgical problems and multiple concomitant medications. Patients with congestive heart failure requiring pharmacologic management, particularly when accompanied by hypoperfusion and hypoxemia, are at increased risk of lactic acidosis. The risk of lactic acidosis increases with the degree of renal dysfunction and the patient’s age. The risk of lactic acidosis may, therefore, be significantly decreased by regular monitoring of renal function in patients taking metformin. In particular, treatment of the elderly should be accompanied by careful monitoring of renal function. Pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets treatment should not be initiated in any patient unless measurement of creatinine clearance demonstrates that renal function is not reduced. In addition, metformin should be promptly withheld in the presence of any condition associated with hypoxemia, dehydration, or sepsis. Because impaired hepatic function may significantly limit the ability to clear lactate, metformin should generally be avoided in patients with clinical or laboratory evidence of hepatic impairment. Patients should be cautioned against excessive alcohol intake when taking metformin, because alcohol potentiates the effects of metformin on lactate metabolism. In addition, metformin should be temporarily discontinued prior to any intravascular radiocontrast study and for any surgical procedure necessitating restricted intake of food or fluids [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10, 5.11, 5.12, 5.13)]. Use of topiramate, a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, in epilepsy and migraine prophylaxis may frequently cause dose-dependent metabolic acidosis and may exacerbate the risk of metformin-induced lactic acidosis [see Drug Interactions (7.1) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
The onset of lactic acidosis often is subtle, and accompanied only by nonspecific symptoms such as malaise, myalgias, respiratory distress, increasing somnolence, and nonspecific abdominal distress. There may be associated hypothermia, hypotension, and resistant bradyarrhythmias with more marked acidosis. Patients should be educated to promptly report these symptoms should they occur. If present, pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets should be withdrawn until lactic acidosis is ruled out. Serum electrolytes, ketones, blood glucose, blood pH, lactate levels, and blood metformin levels may be useful. Once a patient is stabilized on any dose level of metformin, gastrointestinal symptoms, which are common during initiation of therapy, are unlikely to recur. Later occurrence of gastrointestinal symptoms could be due to lactic acidosis or other serious disease.
Levels of fasting venous plasma lactate above the upper limit of normal but less than 5 mmol/L in patients taking metformin do not necessarily indicate impending lactic acidosis and may be explainable by other mechanisms, such as poorly controlled diabetes or obesity, vigorous physical activity, or technical problems in sample handling [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10)].
Lactic acidosis should be suspected in any diabetic patient with metabolic acidosis lacking evidence of ketoacidosis (ketonuria and ketonemia).
Lactic acidosis is a medical emergency that must be treated in a hospital setting. In a patient with lactic acidosis who is taking metformin, the drug should be discontinued immediately and general supportive measures promptly instituted. Because metformin hydrochloride is dialyzable (with a clearance of up to 170 mL/min under good hemodynamic conditions), prompt hemodialysis is recommended to correct the acidosis and remove the accumulated metformin. Such management often results in prompt reversal of symptoms and recovery [see Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.10)].
In controlled clinical trials with pioglitazone, edema was reported more frequently in patients treated with pioglitazone than in placebo-treated patients and is dose related [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. In postmarketing experience, reports of new onset or worsening of edema have been received.
Pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets should be used with caution in patients with edema. Because thiazolidinediones, including pioglitazone, can cause fluid retention, which can exacerbate or lead to congestive heart failure, pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets should be used with caution in patients at risk for congestive heart failure. Patients treated with pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets should be monitored for signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure [see Boxed Warning , Warnings and Precautions (5.1), and Patient Counseling Information (17.1)].
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