In a nutshell
The aim of this study was to investigate the safety and effectiveness of pioglitazone in the treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2D). The main finding of the study was that pioglitazone was an effective treatment of T2D.
Insulin is the hormone that controls blood sugar. In T2D, patients have insulin resistance. This means that their insulin no longer works properly. Pioglitazone (Actos) is a drug used in the treatment of T2D. It works by decreasing insulin resistance. However, there have been some reports of side effects of this drug.
The safety and effectiveness of pioglitazone compared to other anti-diabetic drugs is not known.
Methods & findings
This report analyzed 16 different studies including 2,681 patients with T2D. They were either treated with pioglitazone or with another antidiabetic drug.
Treatment with pioglitazone alone was shown to be just as effective as other diabetic drugs in reducing HbA1c (blood test measuring average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months). Pioglitazone showed greater efficacy in reducing fasting blood sugar levels by 0.24mmol/l compared to other drugs. Pioglitazone also was shown to be just as effective in decreasing insulin resistance and increasing HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) compared to other drugs. Pioglitazone also improved blood pressure and decreased circulating fat levels in the blood.
However, there was a significant association between pioglitazone and increased body weight. Patients who were treated with pioglitazone were 2.21 times more likely to have tissue swelling. However, they were 49% less likely to have hypoglycemia (blood sugar going dangerously low).
The bottom line
The authors concluded that pioglitazone is an effective treatment for T2D, particularly for those with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
The fine print
Different trials with various protocols were included. Most of these, evaluated pioglitazone on the short-term. Longer-term studies are needed.
Published By :
Mar 29, 2019
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