- 15 mg/500 mg tablets: White to off-white, oblong, biconvex film-coated tablets, debossed with ‘H’ on one side and ‘92’ on other side.
- 15 mg/850 mg tablets: White to off-white, oblong, biconvex film-coated tablets, debossed with ‘H’ on one side and ‘93’ on other side.
- Initiation in patients with established NYHA Class III or IV heart failure [see Boxed Warning].
- Severe renal impairment (eGFR below 30 mL/min/1.73 m2) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
- Use in patients with 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 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 must be considered [see Boxed Warning , Contraindications (4), and Adverse Reactions (6.1)].
There have been post-marketing cases of metformin-associated lactic acidosis, including fatal cases. These cases had a subtle onset and were accompanied by nonspecific symptoms such as malaise, myalgias, abdominal pain, respiratory distress, or increased somnolence; however, hypothermia, hypotension and resistant bradyarrhythmias have occurred with severe acidosis. Metformin-associated lactic acidosis was characterized by elevated blood lactate concentrations (greater than 5 mmol/L), anion gap acidosis (without evidence of ketonuria or ketonemia), and an increased lactate:pyruvate ratio;metformin plasma levels generally greater than 5 mcg/mL. Metformin decreases liver uptake of lactate increasing lactate blood levels which may increase the risk of lactic acidosis, especially in patients at risk.
If metformin-associated lactic acidosis is suspected, general supportive measures should be instituted promptly in a hospital setting, along with immediate discontinuation of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride. In pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride-treated patients with a diagnosis or strong suspicion of lactic acidosis, prompt hemodialysis is recommended to correct the acidosis and remove accumulated metformin (metformin hydrochloride is dialyzable, with a clearance of up to 170 mL/min under good hemodynamic conditions). Hemodialysis has often resulted in reversal of symptoms and recovery.
Educate patients and their families about the symptoms of lactic acidosis and if these symptoms occur instruct them to discontinue pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride and report these symptoms to their healthcare provider.
For each of the known and possible risk factors for metformin-associated lactic acidosis, recommendations to reduce the risk of and manage metformin-associated lactic acidosis are provided below:
The postmarketing metformin-associated lactic acidosis cases primarily occurred in patients with significant renal impairment. The risk of metformin accumulation and metformin-associated lactic acidosis increases with the severity of renal impairment because metformin is substantially excreted by the kidney. Clinical recommendations based upon the patient’s renal function include [see Dosage and Administration (2.2), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
- Before initiating pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride, obtain an eGFR.
- Pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride is contraindicated in patients with an eGFR less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m2. Initiation of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride is not recommended in patients with eGFR between 30 to 45 mL/min/1.73 m2 [see Contraindications (4)].
- Obtain an eGFR at least annually in all patients taking pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride. In patients at increased risk for the development of renal impairment (e.g., the elderly), renal function should be assessed more frequently.
- In patients taking pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride whose eGFR later falls below 45 mL/min/1.73 m2 , assess the benefit and risk of continuing therapy.
The concomitant use of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride with specific drugs may increase the risk of metformin-associated lactic acidosis: those that impair renal function, result in significant hemodynamic change, interfere with acid-base balance or increase metformin accumulation (e.g., cationic drugs) [see Drug Interactions (7)]. Therefore, consider more frequent monitoring of patients.
Age 65 or Greater
The risk of metformin-associated lactic acidosis increases with the patient’s age because elderly patients have a greater likelihood of having hepatic, renal, or cardiac impairment than younger patients. Assess renal function more frequently in elderly patients [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].
Radiological Studies with Contrast
Administration of intravascular iodinated contrast agents in metformin-treated patients has led to an acute decrease in renal function and the occurrence of lactic acidosis. Stop pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride at the time of, or prior to, an iodinated contrast imaging procedure in patients with an eGFR between 30 and 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 ; in patients with a history of hepatic impairment, alcoholism, or heart failure; or in patients who will be administered intra-arterial iodinated contrast. Re-evaluate eGFR 48 hours after the imaging procedure, and restart pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride if renal function is stable.
Surgery and Other Procedures
Withholding of food and fluids during surgical or other procedures may increase the risk for volume depletion, hypotension and renal impairment. Pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride should be temporarily discontinued while patients have restricted food and fluid intake.
Several of the postmarketing cases of metformin-associated lactic acidosis occurred in the setting of acute congestive heart failure (particularly when accompanied by hypoperfusion and hypoxemia). Cardiovascular collapse (shock), acute myocardial infarction, sepsis, and other conditions associated with hypoxemia have been associated with lactic acidosis and may also cause prerenal azotemia. When such events occur, discontinue pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride.
Excessive Alcohol Intake
Alcohol potentiates the effect of metformin on lactate metabolism and this may increase the risk of metformin-associated lactic acidosis. Warn patients against excessive alcohol intake while receiving pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride.
Patients with hepatic impairment have developed with cases of metformin-associated lactic acidosis. This may be due to impaired lactate clearance resulting in higher lactate blood levels. Therefore, avoid use of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride in patients with clinical or laboratory evidence of hepatic disease.
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 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 should be used with caution in patients at risk for congestive heart failure. Patients treated with pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride should be monitored for signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure [see Boxed Warning , Warnings and Precautions (5.1), and Patient Counseling Information (17)].
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