List of products in the National Drug Code with proprietary name actos. Pioglitazone is a diabetes drug (thiazolidinedione-type, also called "glitazones") used along with a proper diet and exercise program to control high blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. It works by helping to restore your body's proper response to insulin, thereby lowering your blood sugar. Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Pioglitazone is used either alone or in combination with other diabetes medications (such as metformin or a sulfonylurea such as glyburide). Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of pioglitazone.