Pioglitazone (brand name Actos) is a prescription drug of the thiazolidinedione class with hypoglycemic action used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Pioglitazone selectively stimulates the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ) and to a lesser extent PPAR-α. It modulates the transcription of the genes involved in the control of glucose and lipid metabolism in the muscle, adipose tissue, and the liver. As a result, pioglitazone reduces insulin resistance in the liver and peripheral tissues, decreases gluconeogenesis in the liver, and reduces the quantity of glucose and glycated hemoglobin in the bloodstream. Pioglitazone is used to lower blood glucose levels in the treatment of diabetes mellitus type 2 (T2DM) either alone or in combination with a sulfonylurea, metformin, or insulin. Pioglitazone cannot be used in patients with a known hypersensitivity to pioglitazone, other thiazolidinediones or any of components of its pharmaceutical forms. It is ineffective and possibly harmful to diabetes mellitus type 1 and diabetic ketoacidosis. Pioglitazone can cause fluid retention and peripheral edema. As a result, it may precipitate congestive heart failure (which worsens with fluid overload in those at risk). It may cause anemia. Mild weight gain is common due to increase in subcutaneous adipose tissue. In studies, patients on pioglitazone had an increased proportion of upper respiratory tract infection, sinusitis, headache, myalgia and tooth problems. NCATS
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