This leaflet is designed for people taking Pioglitazone for type 2 diabetes.
What does this medication do?
Pioglitazone helps your body make better use of the insulin it produces to control your
blood sugar levels.
How do I take this medication?
This medicine is taken once daily at the same time each day, with or without food. If you
miss a tablet and remember later in the day you can still take it.
If you remember the following day, do not take two tablets together.
Who can’t take this medication?
Pioglitazone may not be suitable for certain people. This medication is not suitable if you
have liver or heart problems, have ever had bladder cancer, have macular oedema,
osteoporosis or osteopenia.
Your prescriber will review your past medical history when prescribing Pioglitazone to
check it is suitable for you.
What are the common side effects?
Many people experience no side effects taking Pioglitazone. However, like all medicines,
Pioglitazone can cause side effects.
Some people may experience increased sinus, throat or chest infections.
Your eyesight may be affected for a short time at the start of your treatment. Do not drive, cycle or use machinery until your eyesight is back to normal. If it lasts more than a day or two, please see your GP.
Pioglitazone does not cause hypoglycaemia (low blood sugars) when taken on its own.
This medication may give you a tendency to put on weight, so it is important that you maintain healthy eating habits.
A rare but serious side effect to be aware of is risk of bladder cancer. If you have any blood in your urine, pain on passing urine or urgency to pass urine whilst taking Pioglitazone please seek medical attention.
Another rare but serious side effect is the risk of a liver problem. If the white of your eyes turn yellow or your skin turns yellow whilst taking Pioglitazone, please seek medical attention.
Do I need to be monitored?
You do not need to test your own blood sugars when taking Pioglitazone unless you are
also taking other diabetes medications. Your healthcare team can advise you on this.
Your doctor will monitor your liver function whilst you are on this medication.
Are there any sick day rules?
You can continue to take this medication whilst you are unwell.
What about driving?
Certain people with diabetes need to inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
(DVLA). This depends on your medication regimen, whether you hold a group 1 or group
2 licence and other individualised factors.
Full advice can be found via the DVLA website or https://www.gov.uk/diabetes-driving
If you have any queries about this medication, contact your diabetes team, GP or pharmacist.