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October 7, 2002

Pills for Diabetes

Question from Tinton Falls, New Jersey, USA:

I am on Glucovance and Actos [pioglitazone], and I have a lot of diarrhea with the Glucovance which my old doctor (I am looking for a new endocrinologist) brushed off. Twice lately, I've seen a whole Glucovance pill undigested with the diarrhea. What is this? Should I be concerned?


You should not have to suffer with diarrhea. It could be the Glucophage [metformin] part of the Glucovance or something else.

One possibility is that it is a complication of long term diabetes known as gastroparesis. You should go back to your present doctor as soon as possible to discuss possible causes and ways to stop the diarrhea.


[Editor’s comment: Hopefully you have not severed all ties with your previous physician! If you have, see Finding a New Diabetes Doctor for some hints on how to locate a new endocrinologist. Call their office, let them know the problem, and ask for an appointment as soon as possible. Of course, you can ask your family doctor for advice, or find an “Urgent Care Clinic”.