I have been after my husband for years to switch out his Avandia for another similar drug. After his heart attack in 2006, I became concerned that Avandia could be the culprit. After all, he had never had any heart problems prior to taking that drug.
Nonetheless his various military doctors fought his request to change and he continued taking Avandia for nearly four more years. Recently; however, after being assigned to younger doctor, who was better informed on the dangers of Avandia, a switch was finally made.
Proglitazone, also known under the name Actos, is the new drug in my husband’s regimen. It is used as an anti-diabetic medication meant to help control blood sugar spikes in patients that suffer from Type 2 Diabetes.
Proglitazone helps to restore the human body’s response to insulin in order to prevent high blood sugar occurrences. It can be used alone or in connection with other anti-diabetic drugs.
Proglitazone comes in pill form and can be taken with or without food as prescribed by a physician. The drug is usually taken once a day, although the dosage amount may vary slightly from patient to patient.
Like most preventative medications, proglitazone should be taken routinely, around the same time every day. If a dose is missed, it should be taken as soon as it is remembered unless the time to the next dose is shorter than the time from the previous dose. In any instance, it is important not to double up when taking this drug.
Should an overdose take place, contact your local poison control center right away or report to an ER facility. You can also contact the national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222.
Avoid the use of alcohol in conjunction with this drug. It may enhance your chances of suffering from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Like Avandia, proglitazone can cause or worsen heart problems. However, the likelihood is smaller with it than with Avandia.
Like all drugs, proglitazone can result in some side effects. Some are common and should disappear when the body becomes acclimated to the drug. These include muscle pain, sore throat and tooth pain. Should the problems worsen; however, it is important to notify a physician right away.
Other more serious side effects include abdominal pain, bone fracture, changes in menstruation, dark urine, fast heartbeat, jaundice, nausea alone or accompanied by vomiting and vision problems. These are cause for alarm, which means you should report to an ER facility as quickly as possible.
While proglitazone does not cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) it can manifest itself as such if you don’t consume sufficient food calories. Hypoglycemic symptoms include blackouts, chills, damp sweat (cold), dizziness, drowsiness, headache, increased urination, numbness or tingling of the hands or feet, rapid heart beat and uncontrollable shaking. Report to an ER facility if any of these symptoms occur and are not relieved upon eating a candy bar or drinking a glass of orange juice.
To prevent symptoms of hypoglycemia, be sure to eat all meals and partake in healthy snacks in between. Never skip meals.
It is also possible to exhibit symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood pressure) while taking this drug. They usually indicate that your dosage amount may need adjustment. Symptoms of hyperglycemia include confusion, drowsiness, flushing, fruity breath, increased urination and rapid breathing. If such symptoms are exhibited, contact your doctor right away or report to an ER facility.
In a small number of cases, individuals may display an allergic reaction to proglitazone. This will be exhibited by difficulty breathing, extreme dizziness, itching and swelling and skin rash. Should any one or more of these occur, report immediately to an ER.
Before accepting a prescription of proglitazone from your doctor, make certain he has a copy of your full medical history. Be certain he is aware of any existing heart conditions, kidney or liver problems or upper respiratory issues. Any one of these could be enhanced with the use of proglitazone. Also report if you are anemic or have existing eye problems.
Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding may not make good candidates for this medication. However, only a physician can make that determination.
Certain drugs may interact with proglitazone and result in serious medical issues. Drugs to avoid while taking proglitazone include, but are not necessarily limited to other anti-diabetes drugs like insulin, metformin or sulfonylureas; herbal products like fenugreek, ginseng and gymnema; liver enzyme medications like gemfibrozil, rifamycin or rifampin; quinolone and certain antibiotics such as ciproflaxacin.
Be aware that proglitazone can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills, thereby resulting in pregnancy. Consider switching methods of birth control or take additional precautions if unexpected pregnancy isn’t tolerable.
Store proglitazone at room temperature, away from both light and moisture. Refrain from storing the medication in the bathroom where it might become contaminated. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets, both of which could be adversely affected by this drug.
Do not share proglitazone with other individuals because they have the same diagnosis. It is dangerous to prescribe this medication without benefit of a full medical work up.
Never flush excess medication down the drain or toilet. Instead contact your local pharmacist for disposal instructions.
Pamphlet provided with medication;
Information sheet provided by pharmacist;