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Actoplus MET (Pioglitazone Hydrochloride / Metformin Hydrochloride) - Drug Interactions, Contraindications, Overdosage, etc



Pharmacodynamics and Clinical Effects

Pioglitazone hydrochloride

Clinical studies demonstrate that pioglitazone improves insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant patients. Pioglitazone enhances cellular responsiveness to insulin, increases insulin-dependent glucose disposal, improves hepatic sensitivity to insulin, and improves dysfunctional glucose homeostasis. In patients with type 2 diabetes, the decreased insulin resistance produced by pioglitazone results in lower plasma glucose concentrations, lower plasma insulin levels, and lower A1C values. Based on results from an open-label extension study, the glucose-lowering effects of pioglitazone appear to persist for at least one year. In controlled clinical studies, pioglitazone in combination with metformin had an additive effect on glycemic control.

Patients with lipid abnormalities were included in placebo-controlled monotherapy clinical studies with pioglitazone. Overall, patients treated with pioglitazone had mean decreases in triglycerides, mean increases in HDL cholesterol, and no consistent mean changes in LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol compared to the placebo group. A similar pattern of results was seen in 16-week and 24-week combination therapy studies of pioglitazone with metformin.

Laboratory Abnormalities

Hematologic: Pioglitazone may cause decreases in hemoglobin and hematocrit. The fall in hemoglobin and hematocrit with pioglitazone appears to be dose related. Across all clinical studies, mean hemoglobin values declined by 2% to 4% in patients treated with pioglitazone. These changes generally occurred within the first 4 to 12 weeks of therapy and remained relatively stable thereafter. These changes may be related to increased plasma volume associated with pioglitazone therapy and have rarely been associated with any significant hematologic clinical effects (see PRECAUTIONS, General: Pioglitazone hydrochloride ).

In controlled clinical trials of metformin at 29 weeks' duration, a decrease to subnormal levels of previously normal serum vitamin B12 levels, without clinical manifestations, was observed in approximately 7% of patients. Such decrease, possibly due to interference with B12 absorption from the B12 -intrinsic factor complex, is, however, very rarely associated with anemia and appears to be rapidly reversible with discontinuation of metformin or vitamin B12 supplementation (see PRECAUTIONS, General: Metformin hydrochloride ).

Serum Transaminase Levels: During all clinical studies in the U.S., 14 of 4780 (0.30%) patients treated with pioglitazone had ALT values ≥ 3 times the upper limit of normal during treatment. All patients with follow-up values had reversible elevations in ALT. In the population of patients treated with pioglitazone, mean values for bilirubin, AST, ALT, alkaline phosphatase, and GGT were decreased at the final visit compared with baseline. Fewer than 0.9% of patients treated with pioglitazone were withdrawn from clinical trials in the U.S. due to abnormal liver function tests.

In pre-approval clinical trials, there were no cases of idiosyncratic drug reactions leading to hepatic failure (see PRECAUTIONS, General: Pioglitazone hydrochloride ).

CPK Levels: During required laboratory testing in clinical trials with pioglitazone, sporadic, transient elevations in creatine phosphokinase levels (CPK) were observed. An isolated elevation to greater than 10 times the upper limit of normal was noted in 9 patients (values of 2150 to 11400 IU/L). Six of these patients continued to receive pioglitazone, two patients had completed receiving study medication at the time of the elevated value and one patient discontinued study medication due to the elevation. These elevations resolved without any apparent clinical sequelae. The relationship of these events to pioglitazone therapy is unknown.


Pioglitazone hydrochloride

During controlled clinical trials, one case of overdose with pioglitazone was reported. A male patient took 120 mg per day for four days, then 180 mg per day for seven days. The patient denied any clinical symptoms during this period.

In the event of overdosage, appropriate supportive treatment should be initiated according to patient's clinical signs and symptoms.

Metformin hydrochloride

Overdose of metformin hydrochloride has occurred, including ingestion of amounts greater than 50 grams. Hypoglycemia was reported in approximately 10% of cases, but no causal association with metformin hydrochloride has been established. Lactic acidosis has been reported in approximately 32% of metformin overdose cases (see WARNINGS, Metformin hydrochloride ). Metformin is dialyzable with a clearance of up to 170 mL/min under good hemodynamic conditions. Therefore, hemodialysis may be useful for removal of accumulated metformin from patients in whom metformin overdosage is suspected.  


Initiation of ACTOPLUS MET in patients with established New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class III or IV heart failure is contraindicated (see BOXED WARNING).

In addition, ACTOPLUS MET is contraindicated in patients with:

  1. Renal disease or renal dysfunction (e.g., as suggested by 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, Metformin hydrochloride and PRECAUTIONS, General: Metformin hydrochloride ).
  2. Known hypersensitivity to pioglitazone, metformin or any other component of ACTOPLUS MET.
  3. Acute or chronic metabolic acidosis, including diabetic ketoacidosis, with or without coma. Diabetic ketoacidosis should be treated with insulin.

ACTOPLUS MET should be temporarily discontinued in patients undergoing radiologic studies involving intravascular administration of iodinated contrast materials, because use of such products may result in acute alteration of renal function (see PRECAUTIONS, General: Metformin hydrochloride ).


  1. Deng, LJ, et al. Effect of gemfibrozil on the pharmacokinetics of pioglitazone. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 2005; 61: 831-836, Table 1.
  2. Jaakkola, T, et al. Effect of rifampicin on the pharmacokinetics of pioglitazone. Brit J Clin Pharmacol 2006; 61:1 70-78.

Rx only

ACTOS® and ACTOPLUS MET® are trademarks of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and used under license by Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc.

GLUCOPHAGE® is a registered trademark of Merck Sante S.A.S., an associate of Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany. Licensed to Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

Distributed by:
Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc.
Deerfield, IL 60015

©2005 Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc.

December 2008

Relabeling and Repackaging by:
Physicians Total Care, Inc.
Tulsa, OK      74146

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