Actoplus Met

Name: Actoplus Met

Proper Use of pioglitazone and metformin

This section provides information on the proper use of a number of products that contain pioglitazone and metformin. It may not be specific to Actoplus Met. Please read with care.

Carefully follow the special diet your doctor gave you. This is the most important part of controlling your diabetes and will help the medicine work properly. Exercise regularly and test for sugar in your blood or urine as directed.

This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

This medicine should be taken with meals to help reduce the unwanted stomach effects that may occur during the first few weeks.

Swallow the medicine whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.

Part of the extended-release tablet may pass into your stool (bowel movement). This is normal and nothing to worry about.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For type 2 diabetes:
    • For oral dosage form (extended-release tablets):
      • Adults—At first, 1 tablet once or two times a day with food. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and tolerated. However, the dose is usually not more than 45 milligrams (mg) of pioglitazone and 2000 mg of metformin per day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For oral dosage form (tablets):
      • Adults—At first, 1 tablet once or two times a day with food. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and tolerated. However, the dose is usually not more than 45 milligrams (mg) of pioglitazone and 2550 mg of metformin per day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Bone pain.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Pain when passing urine or blood in urine.
  • Passing urine more often.
  • Swelling.
  • It is common to have stomach problems like upset stomach, throwing up, or loose stools (diarrhea) when you start taking Actoplus Met. If you have stomach problems later during care, call your doctor right away. This may be a sign of an acid health problem in the blood (lactic acidosis).
  • Low blood sugar can happen. The chance of low blood sugar may be raised when this medicine is used with other drugs for high blood sugar (diabetes). Signs may be dizziness, headache, feeling sleepy, feeling weak, shaking, a fast heartbeat, confusion, hunger, or sweating. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these signs. Follow what you have been told to do if you get low blood sugar. This may include taking glucose tablets, liquid glucose, or some fruit juices.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with Actoplus Met. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.

Indications and Usage for Actoplus Met

Actoplus Met is indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus when treatment with both pioglitazone and metformin is appropriate [see Clinical Studies (14)].

Important Limitations of Use

Pioglitazone exerts its antihyperglycemic effect only in the presence of endogenous insulin. Actoplus Met should not be used to treat type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis, as it would not be effective in these settings.

Use caution in patients with liver disease [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].

Contraindications

• Initiation in patients with established NYHA Class III or IV heart failure [see Boxed Warning]. • Severe renal impairment (eGFR below 30 mL/min/1.73 m2) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. • Use in patients with known hypersensitivity to pioglitazone, metformin, or any other component of Actoplus Met. • Metabolic acidosis, including diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis should be treated with insulin.

Warnings and Precautions

Congestive Heart Failure

Pioglitazone

Pioglitazone, like other thiazolidinediones, can cause dose-related fluid retention when used alone or in combination with other antidiabetic medications and is most common when pioglitazone is used in combination with insulin. Fluid retention may lead to or exacerbate congestive heart failure. Patients treated with Actoplus Met should be observed for signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure. If congestive heart failure develops, it should be managed according to current standards of care and discontinuation or dose reduction of Actoplus Met must be considered [see Boxed Warning, Contraindications (4), and Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

Lactic Acidosis

Metformin hydrochloride

Lactic Acidosis

There have been post-marketing cases of metformin-associated lactic acidosis, including fatal cases. These cases had a subtle onset and were accompanied by nonspecific symptoms such as malaise, myalgias, abdominal pain, respiratory distress, or increased somnolence; however, hypothermia, hypotension and resistant bradyarrhythmias have occurred with severe acidosis. Metformin-associated lactic acidosis was characterized by elevated blood lactate concentrations (greater than 5 mmol/L), anion gap acidosis (without evidence of ketonuria or ketonemia), and an increased lactate:pyruvate ratio;metformin plasma levels generally greater than 5 mcg/mL. Metformin decreases liver uptake of lactate increasing lactate blood levels which may increase the risk of lactic acidosis, especially in patients at risk.

If metformin-associated lactic acidosis is suspected, general supportive measures should be instituted promptly in a hospital setting, along with immediate discontinuation of Actoplus Met. In Actoplus Met-treated patients with a diagnosis or strong suspicion of lactic acidosis, prompt hemodialysis is recommended to correct the acidosis and remove accumulated metformin (metformin hydrochloride is dialyzable, with a clearance of up to 170 mL/min under good hemodynamic conditions). Hemodialysis has often resulted in reversal of symptoms and recovery.

Educate patients and their families about the symptoms of lactic acidosis and if these symptoms occur instruct them to discontinue Actoplus Met and report these symptoms to their healthcare provider.

For each of the known and possible risk factors for metformin-associated lactic acidosis, recommendations to reduce the risk of and manage metformin-associated lactic acidosis are provided below:

Renal Impairment

The postmarketing metformin-associated lactic acidosis cases primarily occurred in patients with significant renal impairment. The risk of metformin accumulation and metformin-associated lactic acidosis increases with the severity of renal impairment because metformin is substantially excreted by the kidney [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

  • Before initiating Actoplus Met, obtain an eGFR.
  • Actoplus Met is contraindicated in patients with an eGFR less than 30mL/min /1.73 m2. Initiation of Actoplus Met is not recommended in patients with eGFR between 30 – 45 mL/min/1.73 m2.
  • Obtain an eGFR at least annually in all patients taking Actoplus Met. In patients at increased risk for the development of renal impairment (e.g., the elderly), renal function should be assessed more frequently.
  • In patients taking Actoplus Met whose eGFR later falls below 45 mL/min/1.73 m2, assess the benefit and risk of continuing therapy [see Dosage and Administration (2.2), Contraindications (4) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

Drug Interactions

The concomitant use of Actoplus Met with specific drugs may increase the risk of metformin-associated lactic acidosis: those that impair renal function, result in significant hemodynamic change, interfere with acid-base balance or increase metformin accumulation (e.g. cationic drugs) [see Drug Interactions (7)]. Therefore, consider more frequent monitoring of patients.

Age 65 or Greater

The risk of metformin-associated lactic acidosis increases with the patient's age because elderly patients have a greater likelihood of having hepatic, renal, or cardiac impairment than younger patients. Assess renal function more frequently in elderly patients [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].

Radiological Studies with Contrast

Administration of intravascular iodinated contrast agents in metformin-treated patients has led to an acute decrease in renal function and the occurrence of lactic acidosis. Stop Actoplus Met at the time of, or prior to, an iodinated contrast imaging procedure in patients with an eGFR between 30 and 60 mL/min/1.73 m2; in patients with a history of hepatic impairment, alcoholism, or heart failure; or in patients who will be administered intra-arterial iodinated contrast. Re-evaluate eGFR 48 hours after the imaging procedure, and restart Actoplus Met if renal function is stable.

Surgery and Other Procedures

Withholding of food and fluids during surgical or other procedures may increase the risk for volume depletion, hypotension and renal impairment. Actoplus Met should be temporarily discontinued while patients have restricted food and fluid intake.

Hypoxic States

Several of the postmarketing cases of metformin-associated lactic acidosis occurred in the setting of acute congestive heart failure (particularly when accompanied by hypoperfusion and hypoxemia). Cardiovascular collapse (shock), acute myocardial infarction, sepsis, and other conditions associated with hypoxemia have been associated with lactic acidosis and may also cause prerenal azotemia. When such events occur, discontinue Actoplus Met.

Excessive Alcohol Intake

Alcohol potentiates the effect of metformin on lactate metabolism and this may increase the risk of metformin-associated lactic acidosis. Warn patients against excessive alcohol intake while receiving Actoplus Met.

Hepatic Impairment

Patients with hepatic impairment have developed with cases of metformin-associated lactic acidosis. This may be due to impaired lactate clearance resulting in higher lactate blood levels. Therefore, avoid use of Actoplus Met in patients with clinical or laboratory evidence of hepatic disease.

Edema

In controlled clinical trials with pioglitazone, edema was reported more frequently in patients treated with pioglitazone than in placebo-treated patients and is dose related [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. In postmarketing experience, reports of new onset or worsening of edema have been received.

Actoplus Met should be used with caution in patients with edema. Because thiazolidinediones, including pioglitazone, can cause fluid retention, which can exacerbate or lead to congestive heart failure, Actoplus Met should be used with caution in patients at risk for congestive heart failure. Patients treated with Actoplus Met should be monitored for signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure [see Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions (5.1), and Patient Counseling Information (17.1)].

Hypoglycemia

Patients receiving Actoplus Met in combination with insulin or other antidiabetic medications (particularly insulin secretagogues such as sulfonylureas) may be at risk for hypoglycemia. A reduction in the dose of the concomitant antidiabetic medication may be necessary to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia [see Drug Interactions (7.7)].

Hypoglycemia can also occur when caloric intake is deficient or when strenuous exercise is not compensated by caloric supplement. Elderly, debilitated, or malnourished patients, and those with adrenal or pituitary insufficiency or alcohol intoxication are particularly susceptible to hypoglycemic effects. Hypoglycemia may be difficult to recognize in the elderly, and in people who are taking beta-adrenergic blocking drugs.

Hepatic Effects

There have been postmarketing reports of fatal and nonfatal hepatic failure in patients taking pioglitazone, although the reports contain insufficient information necessary to establish the probable cause. There has been no evidence of drug-induced hepatotoxicity in the pioglitazone controlled clinical trial database to date [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

Patients with type 2 diabetes may have fatty liver disease or cardiac disease with episodic congestive heart failure, both of which may cause liver test abnormalities, and they may also have other forms of liver disease, many of which can be treated or managed. Therefore, obtaining a liver test panel (serum alanine aminotransferase [ALT], aspartate aminotransferase [AST], alkaline phosphatase, and total bilirubin) and assessing the patient is recommended before initiating Actoplus Met therapy.

In patients with abnormal liver tests, Actoplus Met should be initiated with caution.

Measure liver tests promptly in patients who report symptoms that may indicate liver injury, including fatigue, anorexia, right upper abdominal discomfort, dark urine or jaundice. In this clinical context, if the patient is found to have abnormal liver tests (ALT greater than three times the upper limit of the reference range), Actoplus Met treatment should be interrupted and investigation done to establish the probable cause. Actoplus Met should not be restarted in these patients without another explanation for the liver test abnormalities.

Patients who have serum ALT greater than three times the reference range with serum total bilirubin greater than two times the reference range without alternative etiologies are at risk for severe drug-induced liver injury, and should not be restarted on Actoplus Met. For patients with lesser elevations of serum ALT or bilirubin and with an alternate probable cause, treatment with Actoplus Met can be used with caution.

Urinary Bladder Tumors

Tumors were observed in the urinary bladder of male rats in the two-year carcinogenicity study [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.1)]. In addition, during the three year PROactive clinical trial, 14 patients out of 2605 (0.54%) randomized to pioglitazone and 5 out of 2633 (0.19%) randomized to placebo were diagnosed with bladder cancer. After excluding patients in whom exposure to study drug was less than one year at the time of diagnosis of bladder cancer, there were 6 (0.23%) cases on pioglitazone and two (0.08%) cases on placebo. After completion of the trial, a large subset of patients was observed for up to 10 additional years, with little additional exposure to pioglitazone. During the 13 years of both PROactive and observational follow-up, the occurrence of bladder cancer did not differ between patients randomized to pioglitazone or placebo (HR =1.00; [95% CI: 0.59–1.72]).

Findings regarding the risk of bladder cancer in patients exposed to pioglitazone vary among observational studies; some did not find an increased risk of bladder cancer associated with pioglitazone, while others did.

A large prospective10-year observational cohort study conducted in the United States found no statistically significant increase in the risk of bladder cancer in diabetic patients ever exposed to pioglitazone, compared to those never exposed to pioglitazone (HR =1.06 [95% CI 0.89–1.26]).

A retrospective cohort study conducted with data from the United Kingdom found a statistically significant association between ever exposure to pioglitazone and bladder cancer (HR: 1.63; [95% CI: 1.22–2.19]).

Associations between cumulative dose or cumulative duration of exposure to pioglitazone and bladder cancer were not detected in some studies including the 10-year observational study in the U.S., but were in others. Inconsistent findings and limitations inherent in these and other studies preclude conclusive interpretations of the observational data.

Pioglitazone may be associated with an increase in the risk of urinary bladder tumors. There are insufficient data to determine whether pioglitazone is a tumor promoter for urinary bladder tumors.

Consequently, Actoplus Met should not be used in patients with active bladder cancer and the benefits of glycemic control versus unknown risks for cancer recurrence with Actoplus Met should be considered in patients with a prior history of bladder cancer.

Fractures

In PROactive (the Prospective Pioglitazone Clinical Trial in Macrovascular Events), 5238 patients with type 2 diabetes and a history of macrovascular disease were randomized to pioglitazone (N=2605), force-titrated up to 45 mg daily or placebo (N=2633) in addition to standard of care. During a mean follow-up of 34.5 months, the incidence of bone fracture in females was 5.1% (44/870) for pioglitazone versus 2.5% (23/905) for placebo. This difference was noted after the first year of treatment and persisted during the course of the study. The majority of fractures observed in female patients were nonvertebral fractures including lower limb and distal upper limb. No increase in the incidence of fracture was observed in men treated with pioglitazone (1.7%) versus placebo (2.1%). The risk of fracture should be considered in the care of patients, especially female patients, treated with Actoplus Met and attention should be given to assessing and maintaining bone health according to current standards of care.

Macular Edema

Macular edema has been reported in postmarketing experience in diabetic patients who were taking pioglitazone or another thiazolidinedione. Some patients presented with blurred vision or decreased visual acuity, but others were diagnosed on routine ophthalmologic examination.

Most patients had peripheral edema at the time macular edema was diagnosed. Some patients had improvement in their macular edema after discontinuation of the thiazolidinedione.

Patients with diabetes should have regular eye exams by an ophthalmologist according to current standards of care. Patients with diabetes who report any visual symptoms should be promptly referred to an ophthalmologist, regardless of the patient's underlying medications or other physical findings [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

Vitamin B12 Levels

In controlled clinical trials of metformin of 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. Measurement of hematologic parameters on an annual basis is advised in patients on Actoplus Met and any apparent abnormalities should be appropriately investigated and managed. Certain individuals (those with inadequate vitamin B12 or calcium intake or absorption) appear to be predisposed to developing subnormal vitamin B12 levels. In these patients, routine serum vitamin B12 measurements at two- to three-year intervals may be useful.

Macrovascular Outcomes

There have been no clinical studies establishing conclusive evidence of macrovascular risk reduction with Actoplus Met or any other oral antidiabetic drug.

Adverse Reactions

The following serious adverse reactions are discussed elsewhere in the labeling:

• Congestive heart failure [see Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] • Lactic acidosis [see Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions (5.2)] • Edema [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)] • Fractures [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Pioglitazone

Over 8500 patients with type 2 diabetes have been treated with pioglitazone in randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trials, including 2605 patients with type 2 diabetes and macrovascular disease treated with pioglitazone from the PROactive clinical trial. In these trials, over 6000 patients have been treated with pioglitazone for six months or longer, over 4500 patients have been treated with pioglitazone for one year or longer, and over 3000 patients have been treated with pioglitazone for at least two years.

In six pooled 16- to 26-week placebo-controlled monotherapy and 16- to 24-week add-on combination therapy trials, the incidence of withdrawals due to adverse events was 4.5% for patients treated with pioglitazone and 5.8% for comparator-treated patients.

The most common adverse events leading to withdrawal were related to inadequate glycemic control, although the incidence of these events was lower (1.5%) with pioglitazone than with placebo (3.0%).

In the PROactive trial, the incidence of withdrawals due to adverse events was 9.0% for patients treated with pioglitazone and 7.7% for placebo-treated patients. Congestive heart failure was the most common serious adverse event leading to withdrawal occurring in 1.3% of patients treated with pioglitazone and 0.6% of patients treated with placebo.

Common Adverse Events: 16- to 26-Week Monotherapy Trials

A summary of the incidence and type of common adverse events reported in three pooled 16- to 26-week placebo-controlled monotherapy trials of pioglitazone is provided in Table 1. Terms that are reported represent those that occurred at an incidence of >5% and more commonly in patients treated with pioglitazone than in patients who received placebo. None of these adverse events were related to the pioglitazone dose.

Table 1. Three Pooled 16- to 26-Week Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials of Pioglitazone Monotherapy: Adverse Events Reported at an Incidence >5% and More Commonly in Patients Treated with Pioglitazone than in Patients Treated with Placebo

% of Patients

Placebo
N=259

Pioglitazone
N=606

Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

8.5

13.2

Headache

6.9

9.1

Sinusitis

4.6

6.3

Myalgia

2.7

5.4

Pharyngitis

0.8

5.1

Common Adverse Events: 16- to 24-Week Add-on Combination Therapy Trials

A summary of the overall incidence and types of common adverse events reported in trials of pioglitazone add-on to metformin is provided in Table 2. Terms that are reported represent those that occurred at an incidence of >5% and more commonly with the highest tested dose of pioglitazone.

Table 2. 16- to 24-Week Clinical Trials of Pioglitazone Add-on to Metformin

16-Week Placebo-Controlled Trial
Adverse Events Reported in >5% of Patients and More Commonly in Patients Treated with Pioglitazone + Metformin than in Patients Treated with Placebo + Metformin

% of Patients

Placebo + Metformin
N=160

Pioglitazone 30 mg + Metformin
N=168

Edema

2.5

6.0

Headache

1.9

6.0

24-Week Non-Controlled Double-Blind Trial
Adverse Events Reported in >5% of Patients and More Commonly in Patients Treated with Pioglitazone 45 mg + Metformin than in Patients Treated with Pioglitazone 30 mg + Metformin

% of Patients

Pioglitazone 30 mg + Metformin
N=411

Pioglitazone 45 mg + Metformin
N=416

Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

12.4

13.5

Edema

5.8

13.9

Headache

5.4

5.8

Weight Increased

2.9

6.7

Note: The preferred terms of edema peripheral, generalized edema, pitting edema, and fluid retention were combined to form the aggregate term of "edema."

Common Adverse Events: 24-Week Actoplus Met Clinical Trial

Table 3 summarizes the incidence and types of adverse reactions reported in a controlled, 24-week double-blind clinical trial of Actoplus Met dosed twice daily in patients with inadequate glycemic control on diet and exercise (N=600).

Table 3. Adverse Events (≥5% for Actoplus Met) Reported by Patients with Inadequate Glycemic Control on Diet and Exercise in a 24-Week Double-Blind Clinical Trial of Actoplus Met Administered Twice Daily

% of Patients

Actoplus Met
15/850 mg
Twice Daily
N=201

Pioglitazone
15 mg
Twice Daily
N=190

Metformin
850 mg
Twice Daily
N=209

Diarrhea

9.0

2.6

15.3

Headache

5.5

2.6

4.8

In this 24-week trial, abdominal pain was reported in 2.0% of patients in the Actoplus Met group, 1.6% in the pioglitazone monotherapy group and 3.3% in the metformin monotherapy group.

Common Adverse Events: PROactive Trial

A summary of the overall incidence and types of common adverse events reported in the PROactive trial is provided in Table 4. Terms that are reported represent those that occurred at an incidence of >5% and more commonly in patients treated with pioglitazone than in patients who received placebo.

Table 4. PROactive Trial: Incidence and Types of Adverse Events Reported in >5% of Patients Treated with Pioglitazone and More Commonly than Placebo

% of Patients

Placebo
N=2633

Pioglitazone
N=2605

Hypoglycemia

18.8

27.3

Edema

15.3

26.7

Cardiac Failure

6.1

8.1

Pain in Extremity

5.7

6.4

Back Pain

5.1

5.5

Chest Pain

5.0

5.1

Mean duration of patient follow-up was 34.5 months.

Congestive Heart Failure

A summary of the incidence of adverse events related to congestive heart failure is provided in Table 5 for the 16- to 24-week add-on to metformin trials. None of the events were fatal.

Table 5. Treatment-Emergent Adverse Events of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Patients Treated with Pioglitazone or Placebo Added on to Metformin

Number (%) of Patients

Placebo-Controlled Trial
(16 weeks)

Non-Controlled Double-Blind Trial
(24 weeks)

Placebo + Metformin
N=160

Pioglitazone
30 mg + Metformin
N=168

Pioglitazone
30 mg + Metformin
N=411

Pioglitazone
45 mg + Metformin
N=416

At least one congestive heart failure event

0

1 (0.6%)

0

1 (0.2%)

Hospitalized

0

1 (0.6%)

0

1 (0.2%)

Table 6. Treatment-Emergent Adverse Events of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Patients Treated with Pioglitazone or Placebo Added on to a Sulfonylurea

Number (%) of Patients

Placebo-Controlled Trial
(16 weeks)

Non-Controlled Double-Blind Trial
(24 weeks)

Placebo + Sulfonylurea
N=187

Pioglitazone
15 mg + Sulfonylurea
N=184

Pioglitazone
30 mg + Sulfonylurea
N=189

Pioglitazone
30 mg + Sulfonylurea
N=351

Pioglitazone
45 mg + Sulfonylurea
N=351

At least one congestive heart failure event

2 (1.1%)

0

0

1 (0.3%)

6 (1.7%)

Hospitalized

2 (1.1%)

0

0

0

2 (0.6%)

Patients Treated with Pioglitazone or Placebo Added on to Insulin

Number (%) of Patients

Placebo-Controlled Trial
(16 weeks)

Non-Controlled Double-Blind Trial
(24 weeks)

Placebo + Insulin
N=187

Pioglitazone
15 mg + Insulin
N=191

Pioglitazone
30 mg + Insulin
N=188

Pioglitazone
30 mg + Insulin
N=345

Pioglitazone
45 mg + Insulin
N=345

At least one congestive heart failure event

0

2 (1.0%)

2 (1.1%)

3 (0.9%)

5 (1.4%)

Hospitalized

0

2 (1.0%)

1 (0.5%)

1 (0.3%)

3 (0.9%)

Patients Treated with Pioglitazone or Placebo Added on to Metformin

Number (%) of Patients

Placebo-Controlled Trial
(16 weeks)

Non-Controlled Double-Blind Trial
(24 weeks)

Placebo + Metformin
N=160

Pioglitazone
30 mg + Metformin
N=168

Pioglitazone
30 mg + Metformin
N=411

Pioglitazone
45 mg + Metformin
N=416

At least one congestive heart failure event

0

1 (0.6%)

0

1 (0.2%)

Hospitalized

0

1 (0.6%)

0

1 (0.2%)

Table 7. Treatment-Emergent Adverse Events of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) in Patients with NYHA Class II or III Congestive Heart Failure Treated with Pioglitazone or Glyburide

Number (%) of Subjects

Pioglitazone
N=262

Glyburide
N=256

Death due to cardiovascular causes (adjudicated)

5 (1.9%)

6 (2.3%)

Overnight hospitalization for worsening CHF (adjudicated)

26 (9.9%)

12 (4.7%)

Emergency room visit for CHF (adjudicated)

4 (1.5%)

3 (1.2%)

Patients experiencing CHF progression during study

35 (13.4%)

21 (8.2%)

Congestive heart failure events leading to hospitalization that occurred during the PROactive trial are summarized in Table 8.

Table 8. Treatment-Emergent Adverse Events of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) in PROactive Trial

Number (%) of Patients

Placebo
N=2633

Pioglitazone
N=2605

At least one hospitalized congestive heart failure event

108 (4.1%)

149 (5.7%)

Fatal

22 (0.8%)

25 (1.0%)

Hospitalized, nonfatal

86 (3.3%)

124 (4.7%)

Cardiovascular Safety

In the PROactive trial, 5238 patients with type 2 diabetes and a history of macrovascular disease were randomized to pioglitazone (N=2605), force-titrated up to 45 mg daily or placebo (N=2633) in addition to standard of care. Almost all patients (95%) were receiving cardiovascular medications (beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, calcium channel blockers, nitrates, diuretics, aspirin, statins, and fibrates). At baseline, patients had a mean age of 62 years, mean duration of diabetes of 9.5 years, and mean HbA1c of 8.1%. Mean duration of follow-up was 34.5 months.

The primary objective of this trial was to examine the effect of pioglitazone on mortality and macrovascular morbidity in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who were at high risk for macrovascular events. The primary efficacy variable was the time to the first occurrence of any event in a cardiovascular composite endpoint that included all-cause mortality, nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI) including silent MI, stroke, acute coronary syndrome, cardiac intervention including coronary artery bypass grafting or percutaneous intervention, major leg amputation above the ankle, and bypass surgery or revascularization in the leg. A total of 514 (19.7%) patients treated with pioglitazone and 572 (21.7%) placebo-treated patients experienced at least one event from the primary composite endpoint (HR 0.90; 95% CI: 0.80, 1.02; p=0.10).

Although there was no statistically significant difference between pioglitazone and placebo for the three-year incidence of a first event within this composite, there was no increase in mortality or in total macrovascular events with pioglitazone. The number of first occurrences and total individual events contributing to the primary composite endpoint is shown in Table 9.

Table 9. PROactive Trial: Number of First and Total Events for Each Component Within the Cardiovascular Composite Endpoint

Cardiovascular Events

Placebo
N=2633

Pioglitazone
N=2605

First Events
n (%)

Total events
n

First Events
n (%)

Total events
n

Any event

572 (21.7)

900

514 (19.7)

803

  All-cause mortality

122 (4.6)

186

110 (4.2)

177

  Nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI)

118 (4.5)

157

105 (4.0)

131

  Stroke

96 (3.6)

119

76 (2.9)

92

  Acute coronary syndrome

63 (2.4)

78

42 (1.6)

65

  Cardiac intervention (CABG/PCI)

101 (3.8)

240

101 (3.9)

195

  Major leg amputation

15 (0.6)

28

9 (0.3)

28

  Leg revascularization

57 (2.2)

92

71 (2.7)

115

CABG = coronary artery bypass grafting; PCI = percutaneous intervention

Weight Gain

Dose-related weight gain occurs when pioglitazone is used alone or in combination with other antidiabetic medications. The mechanism of weight gain is unclear but probably involves a combination of fluid retention and fat accumulation.

Tables 10, 11, and 12 summarize the changes in body weight with pioglitazone and placebo in the 16- to 26-week randomized, double-blind monotherapy and 16- to 24-week combination add-on therapy trials, the PROactive trial, and the 24-week Actoplus Met trial.

Table 10. Weight Changes (kg) from Baseline During Randomized, Double-Blind Clinical Trials

Control Group
(Placebo)

Pioglitazone
15 mg

Pioglitazone
30 mg

Pioglitazone
45 mg

Median
(25th, 75th percentile)

Median
(25th, 75th percentile)

Median
(25th, 75th percentile)

Median
(25th, 75th percentile)

Monotherapy
(16 to 26 weeks)

-1.4 (-2.7, 0.0)
N=256

0.9 (-0.5, 3.4)
N=79

1.0 (-0.9, 3.4)
N=188

2.6 (0.2, 5.4)
N=79


Combination Therapy
(16 to 24 weeks)

Sulfonylurea

-0.5 (-1.8, 0.7)
N=187

2.0 (0.2, 3.2)
N=183

3.1 (1.1, 5.4)
N=528

4.1 (1.8, 7.3)
N=333

Metformin

-1.4 (-3.2, 0.3)
N=160

N/A

0.9 (-1.3, 3.2)
N=567

1.8 (-0.9, 5.0)
N=407

Insulin

0.2 (-1.4, 1.4)
N=182

2.3 (0.5, 4.3)
N=190

3.3 (0.9, 6.3)
N=522

4.1 (1.4, 6.8)
N=338

Table 11. Median Change in Body Weight in Patients Treated with Pioglitazone Versus Patients Treated with Placebo During the Double-Blind Treatment Period in the PROactive Trial

Placebo

Pioglitazone

Median
(25th, 75th percentile)

Median
(25th, 75th percentile)

Change from baseline to final visit (kg)

-0.5 (-3.3, 2.0)
N=2581

+3.6 (0.0, 7.5)
N=2560

Note: Median exposure for both pioglitazone and placebo was 2.7 years.

Table 12. Weight Changes (kg) from Baseline During Double-Blind Clinical Trial with Actoplus Met in Patients with Inadequate Glycemic Control on Diet and Exercise

Actoplus Met
15/850 mg
Twice Daily

Pioglitazone
15 mg
Twice Daily

Metformin
850 mg
Twice Daily

Median
(25th , 75th percentile)

Median
(25th , 75th percentile)

Median
(25th , 75th percentile)

Change from baseline to final visit (kg)

1.00 (-1.0, 3.0)
N=198

1.35 (-0.7, 4.1)
N=178

-1.00 (-2.6, 0.4)
N=203

Note: Trial duration of 24 weeks.

Edema

Edema induced from taking pioglitazone is reversible when pioglitazone is discontinued. The edema usually does not require hospitalization unless there is coexisting congestive heart failure.

In the 24-week Actoplus Met trial, edema was reported in 3.0% of patients in the Actoplus Met group, 4.2% in the pioglitazone monotherapy group, and 1.4% in the metformin monotherapy group.

A summary of the frequency and types of edema adverse events occurring in clinical investigations of pioglitazone is provided in Table 13.

Table 13. Adverse Events of Edema in Patients Treated with Pioglitazone

Number (%) of Patients

Placebo

Pioglitazone
15 mg

Pioglitazone
30 mg

Pioglitazone
45 mg

Monotherapy
(16 to 26 weeks)

3 (1.2%)
N=259

2 (2.5%)
N= 81

13 (4.7%)
N= 275

11 (6.5%)
N=169

Combined Therapy
(16 to 24 weeks)

Sulfonylurea

4 (2.1%)
N=187

3 (1.6%)
N=184

61 (11.3%)
N=540

81 (23.1%)
N=351

Metformin

4 (2.5%)
N=160

N/A

34 (5.9%)
N=579

58 (13.9%)
N=416

Insulin

13 (7.0%)
N=187

24 (12.6%)
N=191

109 (20.5%)
N=533

90 (26.1%)
N=345

Note: The preferred terms of edema peripheral, generalized edema, pitting edema, and fluid retention were combined to form the aggregate term of "edema."

Table 14. Adverse Events of Edema in Patients in the PROactive Trial

Number (%) of Patients

Placebo
N=2633

Pioglitazone
N=2605

419 (15.9%)

712 (27.3%)

Note: The preferred terms of edema peripheral, generalized edema, pitting edema, and fluid retention were combined to form the aggregate term of "edema."

Hepatic Effects

There has been no evidence of pioglitazone-induced hepatotoxicity in the pioglitazone controlled clinical trial database to date. One randomized, double-blind, three-year trial comparing pioglitazone to glyburide as add-on to metformin and insulin therapy was specifically designed to evaluate the incidence of serum ALT elevation to greater than three times the upper limit of the reference range, measured every eight weeks for the first 48 weeks of the trial then every 12 weeks thereafter. A total of 3/1051 (0.3%) patients treated with pioglitazone and 9/1046 (0.9%) patients treated with glyburide developed ALT values greater than three times the upper limit of the reference range. None of the patients treated with pioglitazone in the pioglitazone controlled clinical trial database to date have had a serum ALT greater than three times the upper limit of the reference range and a corresponding total bilirubin greater than two times the upper limit of the reference range, a combination predictive of the potential for severe drug-induced liver injury.

Hypoglycemia

In the pioglitazone clinical trials, adverse events of hypoglycemia were reported based on clinical judgment of the investigators and did not require confirmation with fingerstick glucose testing.

In the 16-week add-on to sulfonylurea trial, the incidence of reported hypoglycemia was 3.7% with pioglitazone 30 mg and 0.5% with placebo. In the 16-week add-on to insulin trial, the incidence of reported hypoglycemia was 7.9% with pioglitazone 15 mg, 15.4% with pioglitazone 30 mg, and 4.8% with placebo.

The incidence of reported hypoglycemia was higher with pioglitazone 45 mg compared to pioglitazone 30 mg in both the 24-week add-on to sulfonylurea trial (15.7% versus 13.4%) and in the 24-week add-on to insulin trial (47.8% versus 43.5%).

Three patients in these four trials were hospitalized due to hypoglycemia. All three patients were receiving pioglitazone 30 mg (0.9%) in the 24-week add-on to insulin trial. An additional 14 patients reported severe hypoglycemia (defined as causing considerable interference with patient's usual activities) that did not require hospitalization. These patients were receiving pioglitazone 45 mg in combination with sulfonylurea (n=2) or pioglitazone 30 mg or 45 mg in combination with insulin (n=12).

Urinary Bladder Tumors

Tumors were observed in the urinary bladder of male rats in the two-year carcinogenicity study [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.1)]. During the three year PROactive clinical trial, 14 patients out of 2605 (0.54%) randomized to pioglitazone and 5 out of 2633 (0.19%) randomized to placebo were diagnosed with bladder cancer. After excluding patients in whom exposure to study drug was less than one year at the time of diagnosis of bladder cancer, there were 6 (0.23%) cases on pioglitazone and two (0.08%) cases on placebo. After completion of the trial, a large subset of patients was observed for up to 10 additional years, with little additional exposure to pioglitazone. During the 13 years of both PROactive and observational follow-up, the occurrence of bladder cancer did not differ between patients randomized to pioglitazone or placebo (HR =1.00; 95% CI: 0.59-1.72) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].

Metformin hydrochloride

In a double-blind clinical study of metformin in patients with type 2 diabetes, a total of 141 patients received metformin therapy (up to 2550 mg per day) and 145 patients received placebo. Adverse reactions reported in greater than 5% of the metformin patients, and that were more common in metformin than placebo-treated patients, are listed in Table 15. In this trial, diarrhea led to discontinuation of study medication in 6% of patients treated with metformin.

* Reactions that were more common in metformin than placebo-treated patients.

Table 15. Most Common Adverse Reactions (>5.0%) in a Placebo-Controlled Clinical Study of Metformin Monotherapy*

Adverse Reaction

Metformin Monotherapy
(n=141)

Placebo
(n=145)

% of Patients

Diarrhea

53.2

11.7

Nausea/Vomiting

25.5

8.3

Flatulence

12.1

5.5

Asthenia

9.2

5.5

Indigestion

7.1

4.1

Abdominal Discomfort

6.4

4.8

Headache

5.7

4.8

Laboratory Abnormalities

Hematologic Effects

Pioglitazone may cause decreases in hemoglobin and hematocrit. In placebo-controlled monotherapy trials, mean hemoglobin values declined by 2% to 4% in patients treated with pioglitazone compared with a mean change in hemoglobin of -1% to +1% in placebo-treated patients. These changes primarily occurred within the first four to 12 weeks of therapy and remained relatively constant thereafter. These changes may be related to increased plasma volume associated with pioglitazone therapy and are not likely to be associated with any clinically significant hematologic effects.

Vitamin B12 Concentrations

Metformin may lower serum vitamin B12 concentrations. Measurement of hematologic parameters on an annual basis is advised in patients on Actoplus Met and any apparent abnormalities should be appropriately investigated and managed [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)].

Creatine Phosphokinase

During protocol-specified measurement of serum creatine phosphokinase (CPK) in pioglitazone clinical trials, an isolated elevation in CPK to greater than 10 times the upper limit of the reference range was noted in nine (0.2%) patients treated with pioglitazone (values of 2150 to 11400 IU/L) and in no comparator-treated patients. Six of these nine patients continued to receive pioglitazone, two patients were noted to have the CPK elevation on the last day of dosing, and one patient discontinued pioglitazone due to the elevation. These elevations resolved without any apparent clinical sequelae. The relationship of these events to pioglitazone therapy is unknown.

Postmarketing Experience

Pioglitazone

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of pioglitazone. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is generally not possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

• New onset or worsening diabetic macular edema with decreased visual acuity [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)]. • Fatal and nonfatal hepatic failure [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].

Postmarketing reports of congestive heart failure have been reported in patients treated with pioglitazone, both with and without previously known heart disease and both with and without concomitant insulin administration.

In postmarketing experience, there have been reports of unusually rapid increases in weight and increases in excess of that generally observed in clinical trials. Patients who experience such increases should be assessed for fluid accumulation and volume-related events such as excessive edema and congestive heart failure [see Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Actoplus Met Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Actoplus Met, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking Actoplus Met, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to Actoplus Met or to any of its ingredients
  • have kidney problems
  • have liver problems
  • have heart problems
  • have or have had bladder cancer
  • have diabetic eye disease
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Actoplus Met and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Actoplus Met falls into category C. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies born with problems. No well-controlled studies have been done in humans. Therefore, this medication may be used if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.

Actoplus Met Usage

Take Actoplus Met exactly as prescribed.

This medication comes in tablet form and is taken one or two times a day, with food.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of Actoplus Met at the same time.

Actoplus Met Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication

The recommended starting dose of Actoplus Met for the treatment of type 2 diabetes is 15 mg pioglitazone/500 mg metformin or 15 mg pioglitazone/850 mg metformin once daily. The dose should be gradually adjusted based on patient response, blood glucose levels, and other medications the patient is taking. The maximum dose of Actoplus Met is 45 mg pioglitazone/2550 mg metformin.

Actoplus Met Overdose

If you take too much Actoplus Met, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If Actoplus Met is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

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