Actos (pioglitazone) prescription available online 

If you are suffering from type 2 diabetes mellitus, pioglitazone can help. Get a new prescription or refill of pioglitazone from a board-certified doctor online.*

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FDA-approved for type 2 diabetes

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*Prescriptions are provided at the doctor’s discretion. Learn more about our controlled substances policy and how you can save up to 80% with our prescription discount card.

About pioglitazone 

Pioglitazone is considered a thiazolidinedione (TZD) type diabetes medication, which helps control blood glucose levels. Pioglitazone is used in combination with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Pioglitazone is used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. Pioglitazone is available only by prescription. It is available in a generic formulation as well as under different brand names, including Actos.

Pioglitazone may be prescribed as a tablet. It’s always important to follow the specific instructions on your prescription, as they can vary based on the formulation and dosage prescribed.

If you're prescribed pioglitazone, be sure to complete the full course of the oral diabetes medication unless your doctor specifically tells you to stop. If you don’t complete your prescription, the diabetes medication may not fully treat your type 2 diabetes.

Pioglitazone uses

There is one FDA-approved use for pioglitazone, but it may also be used off-label to treat other conditions. Your online medical professional may prescribe it for any of the following common reasons.

It’s also possible that your healthcare provider may prescribe it for other reasons not listed here. If you have questions about why a medication is prescribed, ask your online doctor or pharmacist.

  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

    Pioglitazone is FDA-approved to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults in combination with diet and exercise. It can also be used with sulfonylurea, metformin, or insulin when diet and exercise and other diabetes medications do not result in adequate blood sugar control.

    Pioglitazone is not suitable for adults with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis.

Pioglitazone side effects

The side effects associated with taking pioglitazone are typically mild. Most pioglitazone side effects are associated with headaches. Pioglitazone has some common side effects. They may include:

    • Mild headache

    • Muscle pain

    • Cold symptoms, such as stuffy nose or sore throat

    Other side effects, which are less common but might be more severe, could include:

    • Shortness of breath

    • Swelling or rapid weight gain

    • Changes in your vision

    Tell your doctor if you notice any adverse effects, or if you develop any other new or concerning symptoms. The use of pioglitazone in young children under age 12 is not advised.

How to take pioglitazone

Your pharmacist will provide you with instructions on how to take your pioglitazone prescription. Be sure to read your prescription label and follow the instructions. Call your doctor or pharmacy if you have any questions.

Pioglitazone can come in different forms and doses, so be sure to follow the specific instructions on your prescription. The initial dose of pioglitazone typically ranges from 15 mg to 45 mg orally once daily.

Pioglitazone is only part of a treatment plan that should also include diet, regular exercise, weight control, and blood sugar testing. Follow your doctor's instructions closely while taking pioglitazone.

What to avoid while taking pioglitazone

Pioglitazone has 313 drug interactions. Don’t change what you are taking without checking with your doctor or pharmacist. That includes other drugs or supplements, as well as over-the-counter drugs. 

Possible drug interactions with pioglitazone include:

  • Other insulin medications

  • Cholesterol medications, including Crestor (rosuvastatin) and Lipitor (atorvastatin)

  • Metformin

  • Gabapentin

Drinking alcohol may further affect your blood sugar, which can lead to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) depending on how much you drink. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking pioglitazone.

Medication alternatives to pioglitazone

If your healthcare provider prefers to put you on another treatment altogether, they may suggest another diabetes medication in another drug class. Here are some common doctor-recommended alternatives based on your health issue:

  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

    Glucotrol (lipizide)

    Prandin (repaglinide)

    Precose (acarbose)

    Soliqua (insulin)

Pioglitazone prescription FAQs

  • How much does pioglitazone cost?

    Depending on your pharmacy, pioglitazone costs around $11 for thirty tablets without insurance. Pioglitazone is a generic medication, and brand names may cost more.

  • How can I refill my pioglitazone prescription?

    Pioglitazone is only available by prescription, so you will need to see a board-certified doctor to get a refill on your prescription. To get started, book a virtual appointment with one of our top rated board-certified doctors. After a qualifying evaluation, your prescription will be sent to your local pharmacy for pickup.

  • Who should not take pioglitazone?

    Avoid taking pioglitazone if you have certain medical conditions, such as:

    • Severe or uncontrolled heart failure

    • Diabetic ketoacidosis

    • Heart disease

    • Eye problems caused by diabetes

    • Bladder cancer

    • Liver disease

  • What should be monitored when taking pioglitazone?

    Your healthcare professional will regularly monitor your liver function and blood sugar levels with blood glucose and liver function tests while taking pioglitazone.

  • Is it better to take pioglitazone in the morning or evening?

    You can take pioglitazone any time. Be sure to take pioglitazone at the same time daily.

  • What are the adverse effects of pioglitazone?

    The adverse effects of pioglitazone may include:

    • Swelling or rapid weight gain

    • Unusual tiredness

    • Blurred vision

    • Increased risk of bladder cancer

    • Low blood sugar

    • Irregular heartbeat

    Tell your doctor right away if you experience adverse effects while taking pioglitazone.

  • What happens if I miss a dose of pioglitazone?

    If you miss a dose of pioglitazone, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it's almost time for your next dose and follow your regular dosing schedule. Avoid taking two doses to make up for a missed dose.

  • What happens if I take too much pioglitazone?

    If you've taken too much pioglitazone, tell your doctor immediately or call your local poison control center. You may experience stomach pain, blurred vision, trouble speaking, and low blood sugar.

3 simple steps to request your pioglitazone prescription today 

Step 1

Book a pioglitazone prescription request appointment.

Book a same day appointment from anywhere.

Step 2

Talk to your medical provider regarding your pioglitazone prescription.

Visit with a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

Step 3

Pick up your pioglitazone prescription.

We can send prescriptions to any local pharmacy.

Pioglitazone prescription pricing details

How pricing works

To get a new or refill on your pioglitazone prescription, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits.

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Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:

    • Humana
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Paying without insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129.

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If we're unable to treat you, we'll provide a full refund.

Pioglitazone prescription resources


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PlushCare content is reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals. Learn more about our editorial standards and meet the medical team. The PlushCare site or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.