What is Duetact?

Duetact contains a combination of glimepiride and pioglitazone, both or which are oral diabetes medicines that help control blood sugar levels.Duetact is for people with type 2 diabetes. Duetact is sometimes given with other diabetes medications when greater blood sugar control is needed.

Important information

You should not use Duetact if you have severe or uncontrolled heart failure, active bladder cancer, or diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin). Duetact is not for treating type 1 diabetes.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Duetact if you are allergic to glimepiride or pioglitazone, or sulfa drugs, or if you have:

  • severe or advanced heart failure
  • active bladder cancer
  • diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).

To make sure Duetact is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • congestive heart failure or heart disease
  • fluid retention
  • a history of bladder cancer
  • liver disease
  • kidney disease
  • a genetic enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
  • eye problems caused by diabetes
  • a history of heart attack or stroke.

This medication may increase your risk of developing bladder cancer. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

Taking Duetact 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 Duetact 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 glimepiride and pioglitazone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using Duetact.

How should I take Duetact?

Take Duetact exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take Duetact with your first meal of the day.

Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor’s office.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can happen to everyone who has diabetes. Symptoms include headache, hunger, sweating, pale skin, irritability, dizziness, feeling shaky, or trouble concentrating.

Keep a source of sugar with you in case you have low blood sugar. Sugar sources include fruit juice, hard candy, crackers, raisins, and non-diet soda. Be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.

If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use a glucagon injection. Your doctor can prescribe a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to use it.

Check your blood sugar carefully during times of stress, travel, illness, surgery or medical emergency, vigorous exercise, or if you drink alcohol or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your dose needs may also change. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor’s advice.

Use Duetact regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Duetact is only part of a treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, blood sugar testing, vision exams, and special medical care. Follow your doctor’s instructions very closely.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

Duetact Side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of an allergic reaction to Duetact: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain
  • pink or red urine, painful or difficult urination, new or worsening urge to urinate
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding
  • changes in your vision
  • sudden unusual pain in your hand, arm, or foot

liver problems – nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

severe skin reaction – fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common Duetact side effects may include:

  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • nausea, diarrhea
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sinus pain, sneezing, sore throat.

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