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)].
Cholestatic, hepatocellular, and mixed hepatocellular liver injury.
An inhibitor of CYP2C8 (e.g., gemfibrozil) significantly increases the exposure (area under the serum concentration-time curve or AUC) and half-life (t1/2 ) of pioglitazone. Therefore, the maximum recommended dose of pioglitazone is 15 mg daily if used in combination with gemfibrozil or other strong CYP2C8 inhibitors [see Dosage and Administration (2.3) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
An inducer of CYP2C8 (e.g., rifampin) may significantly decrease the exposure (AUC) of pioglitazone. Therefore, if an inducer of CYP2C8 is started or stopped during treatment with pioglitazone, changes in diabetes treatment may be needed based on clinical response without exceeding the maximum recommended daily dose of 45 mg for pioglitazone [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Topiramate or other carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (e.g., zonisamide, acetazolamide or dichlorphenamide) frequently causes a decrease in serum bicarbonate and induce non-anion gap, hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis. Concomitant use of these drugs with pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride may increase the risk for lactic acidosis. Consider more frequent monitoring of these patients.
Concomitant use of drugs that interfere with common renal tubular transport systems involved in the renal elimination of metformin (e.g., organic cationic transporter-2 [OCT2]/multidrug and toxin extrusion [MATE] inhibitors such as ranolazine, vandetanib, dolutegravir, and cimetidine) could increase systemic exposure to metformin and may increase the risk for lactic acidosis [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Consider the benefits and risks of concomitant use.
Alcohol is known to potentiate the effect of metformin on lactate metabolism. Warn patients against excessive alcohol intake while receiving pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride.
If hypoglycemia occurs in a patient coadministered pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride and an insulin secretagogue (e.g., sulfonylurea), the dose of the insulin secretagogue should be reduced.
If hypoglycemia occurs in a patient coadministered pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride and insulin, the dose of insulin should be decreased by 10% to 25%. Further adjustments to the insulin dose should be individualized based on glycemic response.
Certain drugs tend to produce hyperglycemia and may lead to loss of glycemic control. These drugs include the thiazides and other diuretics, corticosteroids, phenothiazines, thyroid products, estrogens, oral contraceptives, phenytoin, nicotinic acid, sympathomimetics, calcium channel blockers, and isoniazid. When such drugs are administered to a patient receiving pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride, the patient should be closely observed for loss of blood glucose control. When such drugs are withdrawn from a patient receiving pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride, the patient should be observed closely for hypoglycemia.
A decrease in the exposure of pioglitazone and its active metabolites were noted with concomitant administration of pioglitazone and topiramate [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. The clinical relevance of this decrease is unknown; however, when pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride and topiramate are used concomitantly, monitor patients for adequate glycemic control.
Limited data with pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride or pioglitazone in pregnant women are not sufficient to determine a drug-associated risk for major birth defects or miscarriage. Published studies with metformin use during pregnancy have not reported a clear association with metformin and major birth defect or miscarriage risk [see Data]. There are risks to the mother and fetus associated with poorly controlled diabetes in pregnancy [see Clinical Considerations].
In animal reproduction studies, no adverse developmental effects were observed when pioglitazone was administered to pregnant rats and rabbits during organogenesis at exposures up to 5- and 35-times the 45 mg clinical dose, respectively, based on body surface area. No adverse developmental effects were observed when metformin was administered to pregnant Sprague Dawley rats and rabbits during the period of organogenesis at doses up to 2- to 6-times, respectively, a 2000 mg clinical dose, based on body surface area [see Data].
The estimated background risk of major birth defects is 6 to 10% in women with pre-gestational diabetes with a HbA1c >7 and has been reported to be as high as 20 to 25% in women with a HbA1c >10. The estimated background risk of miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively.
Disease-associated maternal and/or embryo/fetal risk
Poorly controlled diabetes in pregnancy increases the maternal risk for diabetic ketoacidosis, pre-eclampsia, spontaneous abortions, preterm delivery, still birth and delivery complications. Poorly controlled diabetes increases the fetal risk for major birth defects, still birth, and macrosomia related morbidity.
Published data from post-marketing studies have not reported a clear association with metformin and major birth defects, miscarriage, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes when metformin was used during pregnancy. However, these studies cannot definitely establish the absence of any metformin-associated risk because of methodological limitations, including small sample size and inconsistent comparator groups.
Pioglitazone and Metformin hydrochloride
Animal reproduction studies were not conducted with the combined products in pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride. The following data are based on studies conducted with the individual components of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride.
Pioglitazone administered to pregnant rats during organogenesis did not cause adverse developmental effects at a dose of 20 mg/kg (~5-times the 45 mg clinical dose), but delayed parturition and reduced embryofetal viability at 40 and 80 mg/kg, or ≥9-times the 45 mg clinical dose, by body surface area. In pregnant rabbits administered pioglitazone during organogenesis, no adverse developmental effects were observed at 80 mg/kg (~35-times the 45 mg clinical dose), but reduced embryofetal viability at 160 mg/kg, or ~69-times the 45 mg clinical dose, by body surface area. When pregnant rats received pioglitazone during late gestation and lactation, delayed postnatal development, attributed to decreased body weight, occurred in offspring at maternal doses of 10 mg/kg and above or ≥2-times the 45 mg clinical dose, by body surface area.
Metformin hydrochloride did not cause adverse developmental effects when administered to pregnant Sprague Dawley rats and rabbits up to 600 mg/kg/day during the period of organogenesis. This represents an exposure of about 2- to 6-times a 2000 mg clinical dose based on body surface area (mg/m2) for rats and rabbits, respectively.
There is no information regarding the presence of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride or pioglitazone in human milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production. Pioglitazone is present in rat milk; however, due to species-specific differences in lactation physiology, animal data may not reliably predict drug levels in human milk. Limited published studies report that metformin is present in human milk [see Data]. However, there is insufficient information on the effects of metformin on the breastfed infant and no available information on the effects of metformin on milk production. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride or from the underlying maternal condition.
Published clinical lactation studies report that metformin is present in human milk which resulted in infant doses approximately 0.11% to 1% of the maternal weight-adjusted dosage and a milk/plasma ratio ranging between 0.13 and 1. However, the studies were not designed to definitely establish the risk of use of metformin during lactation because of small sample size and limited adverse event data collected in infants.
Discuss the potential for unintended pregnancy with premenopausal women as therapy with pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride, may result in ovulation in some anovulatory women.
Safety and effectiveness of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride in pediatric patients have not been established.
Pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride is not recommended for use in pediatric patients based on adverse effects observed in adults, including fluid retention and congestive heart failure, fractures, and urinary bladder tumors [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1,5.3,5.6,5.7)].
A total of 92 patients (15.2%) treated with pioglitazone in the three pooled 16- to 26-week double-blind, placebo-controlled, monotherapy trials were ≥65 years old and two patients (0.3%) were ≥75 years old. In the two pooled 16- to 24-week add-on to sulfonylurea trials, 201 patients (18.7%) treated with pioglitazone were ≥65 years old and 19 (1.8%) were ≥75 years old. In the two pooled 16- to 24-week add-on to metformin trials, 155 patients (15.5%) treated with pioglitazone were ≥65 years old and 19 (1.9%) were ≥75 years old. In the two pooled 16- to 24-week add-on to insulin trials, 272 patients (25.4%) treated with pioglitazone were ≥65 years old and 22 (2.1%) were ≥75 years old.
In PROactive Trial, 1068 patients (41%) treated with pioglitazone were ≥65 years old and 42 (1.6%) were ≥75 years old.
In pharmacokinetic studies with pioglitazone, no significant differences were observed in pharmacokinetic parameters between elderly and younger patients [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Although clinical experiences have not identified differences in effectiveness and safety between the elderly (≥65 years) and younger patients, these conclusions are limited by small sample sizes for patients ≥75 years old.
Controlled clinical studies of metformin did not include sufficient numbers of elderly patients to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients, although other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and young patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy and the higher risk of lactic acidosis. Assess renal function more frequently in elderly patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2) and Dosage and Administration (2.2)].
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