Actoplus Met XR
Name: Actoplus Met XR
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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Actoplus Met XR (metformin and pioglitazone)?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to metformin or pioglitazone, or if you have:
severe or uncontrolled heart failure;
active bladder cancer;
metabolic acidosis; or
diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).
If you need to have any type of x-ray or CT scan using a dye that is injected into your veins, you will need to temporarily stop taking metformin and pioglitazone. Be sure your caregivers know ahead of time that you are using this medication.
Some people taking metformin develop a serious condition called lactic acidosis. This may be more likely if you have liver or kidney disease, congestive heart failure, a severe infection, if you are dehydrated, or if you drink large amounts of alcohol. Talk with your doctor about your risk.
To make sure metformin and pioglitazone is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
congestive heart failure or heart disease;
a history of bladder cancer;
a history of heart attack or stroke;
liver disease; or
if you are 80 years or older.
This medication may increase your risk of developing bladder cancer. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.
Taking metformin and pioglitazone may increase your risk of serious heart problems. However, not treating your diabetes can damage your heart and other organs. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of treating your diabetes with this medicine.
Follow your doctor's instructions about using this medicine if you are pregnant. Blood sugar control is very important during pregnancy, and your dose needs may be different during each trimester of pregnancy.
Some women using metformin and pioglitazone have started having menstrual periods, even after not having a period for a long time due to a medical condition. You may be able to get pregnant if your periods restart. Talk with your doctor about the need for birth control.
Women may be more likely than men to have bone fractures in the upper arm, hand, or foot while taking medicine that contains pioglitazone. Talk with your doctor if you are concerned about this possibility.
It is not known whether metformin and pioglitazone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
Metformin and pioglitazone should not be given to a child.
What should I avoid while taking Actoplus Met XR (metformin and pioglitazone)?
Avoid drinking alcohol. It can lower your blood sugar and may increase your risk of lactic acidosis.
How do I store and/or throw out Actoplus Met XR?
- Store in the original container at room temperature.
- Protect from light.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep lid tightly closed.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time this medicine is refilled. If you have any questions about Actoplus Met XR, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Actoplus Met XR. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Actoplus Met XR.
Review Date: October 4, 2017
Indications and Usage for Actoplus Met XR
Actoplus Met XR 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 XR 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)].
Warnings and Precautions
Congestive Heart Failure
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 XR 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 XR must be considered [see Boxed Warning, Contraindications (4), and Adverse Reactions (6.1)].
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/Liter), 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 XR. Patients treated with Actoplus Met XR 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 XR 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:
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 XR, obtain an eGFR.
- Actoplus Met XR is contraindicated in patients with an eGFR less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m2. Initiation of Actoplus Met XR 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 XR. 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 XR 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)].
The concomitant use of Actoplus Met XR 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 patients treated with metformin has led to an acute decrease in renal function and the occurrence of lactic acidosis. Stop Actoplus Met XR 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 XR 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 XR should be temporarily discontinued while patients have restricted food and fluid intake.
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 XR.
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 XR.
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 XR in patients with clinical or laboratory evidence of hepatic disease.
In controlled clinical trials with pioglitazone, edema was reported more frequently in patients treated with pioglitazone than in patients treated with placebo 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 XR 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 XR should be used with caution in patients at risk for congestive heart failure. Patients treated with Actoplus Met XR should be monitored for signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure [see Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions (5.1), and Patient Counseling Information (17)].
Patients receiving Actoplus Met XR in combination with insulin or other anti-diabetic medications (particularly insulin secretagogues such as sulfonylureas) may be at risk for hypoglycemia. A reduction in the dose of the concomitant anti-diabetic 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.
There have been postmarketing reports of fatal and non-fatal 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 XR therapy.
In patients with abnormal liver tests, Actoplus Met XR 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 XR treatment should be interrupted and investigation done to establish the probable cause. Actoplus Met XR 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 XR. For patients with lesser elevations of serum ALT or bilirubin and with an alternate probable cause, treatment with Actoplus Met XR 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 prospective 10-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 XR 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 XR should be considered in patients with a prior history of bladder cancer.
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 XR and attention should be given to assessing and maintaining bone health according to current standards of care.
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 XR 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.
There have been no clinical studies establishing conclusive evidence of macrovascular risk reduction with Actoplus Met XR or any other oral anti-diabetic drug.
Side Effects of Actoplus Met XR
Serious side effects have been reported with Actoplus Met XR. See the “Actoplus Met XR Precautions” section.
Common side effects of Actoplus Met XR include the following:
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Weight gain
This is not a complete list of Actoplus Met XR side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Actoplus Met XR 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 XR 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.
More frequent side effects include: dental disease, edema, myalgia, pharyngitis, decreased vitamin b12 serum concentrate, and weight gain. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.