By Lynn Marks | Medically Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD
Latest Update: 2015-04-17 Copyright © 2014 Everyday Health Media, LLC
Common Side Effects of Pio-Q
Tell your doctor if any of the following side effects become severe or don't go away:
- Sore throat
- Muscle pain
- Sinus pain
- Weight gain
- Tooth problems
- Pain in the arms or legs
Pio-Q and Bladder Cancer
People who took Pio-Q for more than a year were more likely to develop bladder cancer than those who didn't take the medicine.
The FDA recommends that this drug shouldn't be prescribed to people with bladder cancer or a history of bladder cancer.
Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms that could be associated with bladder cancer. These may include:
- Red or bloody urine
- Difficult or painful urination
- An increased need to urinate
Thousands of U.S. patients who took Pio-Q have filed lawsuits against the manufacturer because they believe the risk of bladder cancer wasn't fully disclosed.
COMMON BRAND(S): Actoplus Met
GENERIC NAME(S): Pio-Q-Metformin
Pio-Q may rarely cause or worsen a certain heart problem (heart failure). Tell your doctor right away if you notice any symptoms of heart failure, including: shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain.
This medication is not recommended for people with certain types of heart failure. Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have heart failure.
Rarely, too much metformin can build up in the body and cause a serious (sometimes fatal) condition called lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is more likely if you are an older adult, if you have kidney or liver disease, dehydration, heart failure, heavy alcohol use, if you have surgery, if you have X-ray or scanning procedures that use iodinated contrast, or if you are using certain drugs. For some conditions, your doctor may tell you to stop taking this medication for a short time. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Stop taking this medication and get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of lactic acidosis, such as unusual tiredness, dizziness, severe drowsiness, chills, blue/cold skin, muscle pain, fast/difficult breathing, slow/irregular heartbeat, or stomach pain with nausea/vomiting/diarrhea.
This combination medication is used along with a proper diet and exercise program to control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Pio-Q belongs to a class of drugs known as thiazolidinediones or "glitazones". Metformin and Pio-Q work by helping to restore your body's proper response to the insulin you naturally produce. Metformin also decreases the amount of sugar that your liver makes and that your stomach/intestines absorb.
Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using Pio-Q-containing products.
Taking Pio-Q with painkillers
It's safe to take paracetamol with Pio-Q.
Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking ibuprofen with Pio-Q. This is particularly important if you have heart problems or if you're at risk of getting heart problems.
- Patients with type 2 diabetes cannot make enough insulin, and the cells of their body respond less to the insulin that is produced. Since insulin is the hormone that stimulates cells to remove glucose from the blood, the reduced amount of insulin and its reduced effect cause cells to take up less glucose from the blood and the level of glucose in the blood to rise. Pio-Q often is referred to as an "insulin sensitizer" because it attaches to the insulin receptors on cells throughout the body and causes the cells to become more sensitive (more responsive) to insulin. As a result, more glucose is removed from the blood, and the level of glucose in the blood falls. At least some insulin must be produced by the pancreas in order for Pio-Q to work. Pio-Q also lowers the level of glucose in the blood by reducing the production and secretion of glucose into the blood by the liver. In addition, Pio-Q may alter the blood concentrations of lipids (fats) in the blood. Specifically, it decreases triglycerides and increases the "good" (HDL) cholesterol.
Serious allergic reaction
It is possible to have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to Pio-Q.
How should this medicine be used?
Pio-Q comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once daily with or without meals. Take Pio-Q at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Pio-Q exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose of Pio-Q and gradually increase your dose.
Pio-Q controls type 2 diabetes but does not cure it. It may take 2 weeks for your blood sugar to decrease and 2 to 3 months for you to feel the full effect of Pio-Q. Continue to take Pio-Q even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Pio-Q without talking to your doctor.
What Other Drugs Interact with Pio-Q?
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first.
Pio-Q has no known severe interactions with other drugs.
Serious interactions of Pio-Q include:
Pio-Q has moderate interactions with at least 78 different drugs.
Pio-Q has minor interactions with at least 135 different drugs.
This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns or for more information about this medicine.
Pio-Q and breastfeeding
Pio-Q isn't usually recommended while breastfeeding. There isn't any information to say whether it's safe or not.
Your doctor will probably recommend a different diabetes medicine while you're breastfeeding.
- This medicine may cause or make heart failure worse. Tell your doctor if you have had heart failure. Do not take Pio-Q if you have moderate to severe heart failure or any signs of heart failure. You will be watched closely while starting Pio-Q and if your dose is raised. Call your doctor right away if you have swelling in the arms or legs, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, sudden weight gain, weight gain that is not normal, or you feel very tired.