> Western Medicines > Pioglitazone


Used for: Type 2 diabetes
Chinese name:

What is Pioglitazone for?

Pioglitazone belongs to a class of medication called thiazolidinediones. It works by enhancing the action of insulin and improving the utilization of insulin by your body. Therefore, it is used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

How to use it?

Pioglitazone is taken orally as tablets. The usual initial dose is 15-30 mg once daily, and may be increased in 15 mg increments up to a maximum of 45 mg once daily.


Note: for patients with heart failure (NYHA Class I or II), the initial dose should be limited to 15 mg once daily, with a maintenance dose of ≤30 mg/day.

What are the side effects of Pioglitazone?

The common side effects of Pioglitazone include upper respiratory tract infection, headache, sinusitis, myalgia, pharyngitis, oedema, or weight gain.

Who should not take Pioglitazone?

  • People who are allergic to Pioglitazone or any component of the formulation
  • Patients with NYHA Class III or IV heart failure.
  • Avoid to use Pioglitazone if you have active bladder cancer

Pharmacist Tips:

  • Non-drug management, including diet and exercise, also plays an important role in controlling both diabetes.
  • It may take 2 months to see the full effect of Pioglitazone on your blood sugar level.
  • Seek medical advice promptly if your body is under stress such as fever, trauma, infection, or surgery, as medication requirements may change.
  • As hypoglycemia can occur, symptoms should be aware, such as drowsiness, confusion, cool pale skin, excessive hunger, or fast heart beat. If you recognize some of these signs of the drop in blood sugar, immediately eat or drink something containing sugar and notify your doctor without delay.

Common dosing schedule:
Pioglitazone can be taken with or without meals.


This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.


Some common medications Pioglitazone may interact with:

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Pioglitazone in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Pioglitazone is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.


For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Pioglitazone in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.

Brands in Hong Kong
Available dosage
  • 15mg / 30mg / 45mg (Tablets)
Drug class
Antidiabetic Drugs
Sub class
Thiazolidinediones (TZDs)
Other drugs in same class