A long-term study of the oral antidiabetic drug pioglitazone HCl (Actos) revealed that its use either alone or in combination with other oral antidiabetic medications resulted in sustained improvements in glycemic control, insulin sensitivity, and prominent lipid parameters. Conducted over a 2-year period, the study combined pioglitazone HCl with 2 other common antidiabetic medications: gliclazide and metformin. More than 1200 patients were followed over the 2-year period, and 4 different regimens were evaluated.
The results showed that, regardless of whether pioglitazone HCl was combined with metformin or with gliclazide, there was a significant reduction in fasting insulin, and these decreases were sustained over a period of 2 years. Researchers determined that Actos helps the body use its insulin more efficiently, thereby reducing fasting insulin and reducing demand on the pancreatic beta cells.