Compare Actos vs. Glucotrol

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Actos
(pioglitazone)

Glucotrol XL
(glipizide)

Lowers blood sugar. Actos (Pioglitazone) is a last-choice blood sugar-lowering medicine since it's only moderately effective but has a lot of undesirable side effects.Lowers blood sugar. Glucotrol XL (glipizide) is an effective medicine for lowering blood sugar, but it can cause your blood sugar level to be too low, so you must always carry some form of sugar with you that can be readily used.
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Coupons for Actos
Best available price for 30 (30mg) tablets of actos
Coupons for Glucotrol
Best available price for 60 (5mg) tablets of glucotrol
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.11Actos
Reviews for Actos
42%
of people (All ages) say Actos is worth it
30%
say it works well
21%
say it's a big hassle
175 reviews
Have you used Actos (pioglitazone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Glucotrol
50%
-8% worse vs. Actos
32%
-2% worse vs. Actos
19%
-2% worse vs. Actos
332 reviews
Have you used Glucotrol XL (glipizide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ActosGlucotrol
  • Swelling due to excess fluid 11%
  • Low blood sugar 8%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 4%
  • Headache 2%
  • Cardiac failure 2%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Sinus inflammation 1%
  • Muscle pain 2%
More Actos side effects »
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Nervousness 1%
  • Tremor 4%
  • Passing gas 2%
  • Low blood sugar 3%
  • Constipation 3%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Headache 2%
More Glucotrol side effects »
How it works
ActosGlucotrol
Actos (Pioglitazone) is an anti-diabetic drug. It improves your body's ability to use insulin to lower your blood sugar.Glucotrol XL (glipizide) stimulates your body to release insulin and lower blood sugar.
Type of medication
ActosGlucotrol
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ActosGlucotrol
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
Used for
ActosGlucotrol
Risk factors for serious side effects
ActosGlucotrol
  • Heart failure diagnosis
  • Current liver problems
  • Female
Detailed Actos (pioglitazone) risks & warnings »
  • Skipping meals or having inconsistent meal times
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Using other blood sugar-lowering medicine
  • People age 60 or older
  • Those with kidney and/or liver problems
Detailed Glucotrol XL (glipizide) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
ActosGlucotrol
No alcohol related info.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Glucotrol XL (glipizide).
Food
ActosGlucotrol
No food related info.
  • Eat regular and well-balanced meals to keep your blood sugar levels normal.
Kidneys and liver
ActosGlucotrol
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • People with kidney and/or liver problems take a longer time to get rid of Glucotrol XL (glipizide) from their body. They are more sensitive to the effects of low blood sugar that include symptoms such as fast heartbeat, sweating, pale skin, shakiness, confusion and irritability. They need to make sure to carry with them some form of sugar such as hard candies or glucose tablets at all times while they are on this medicine.
  • Can be used in those with kidney problems.
Weight
ActosGlucotrol
  • Can cause weight gain, headache, and fluid retention.
  • More likely to cause weight gain (2 to 6 pounds or more) compared to other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
  • Can cause mild weight gain of 2 to 3 pounds on average.
Upsides and benefits
ActosGlucotrol
  • Oral blood sugar-lowering medicine.
  • Lowers A1c levels by around 1%. (Hemoglobin A1c measures your average blood sugar over time.)
  • Prevents the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
  • Rarely causes low blood sugar.
  • Lowers A1c levels by 1-2%. (A1c is a test that measures your average blood sugars over the past 3 months).
  • Glucotrol XL (glipizide) is an oral medicine so it might be a good alternative for those who don't like injections.
  • Protects your organs and blood vessels by preventing the harmful effects of high blood sugar levels.
  • Can be used in those with kidney problems.
  • Available as a generic form and is relatively cheap.
Downsides and risks
ActosGlucotrol
  • May take several weeks to lower blood sugar.
  • You have to check your blood sugar regularly with this medicine.
  • Has more side effects than similar medicines, so it's usually not the first choice for new Type 2 diabetes patients.
  • More likely to cause weight gain (2 to 6 pounds or more) compared to other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
  • Up to 1 in 10 people might get fluid retention (edema), ranging from mild ankle swelling to severe swelling in the lungs that makes it hard to breathe. People with severe congestive heart failure shouldn't use Actos.
  • Raises the risk of bone fractures, especially for people who already have a risk for fractures.
  • Slightly raises the risk of bladder cancer.
  • Has a higher risk than other diabetes medicine for causing blood sugar levels to be too low.
  • While taking Glucotrol XL (glipizide), your blood sugars should be checked 2 to 5 times a week, but less often once you are on a stable dose.
  • Can cause mild weight gain of 2 to 3 pounds on average.
  • Might lose its effectiveness over time.
  • Needs to be taken 30 minutes before a meal for it to be most effective.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ActosGlucotrol
  • Takes several weeks to see full effect on blood sugar control.
  • Can cause weight gain, headache, and fluid retention.
  • Tell your doctor about any mental confusion, persistent abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing of eyes/skin, or easy bruising.
  • Not recommended for patients with certain heart problems.
  • Check your blood sugar regularly.
  • Take the medicine 30 minutes before eating, usually before your first big meal of the day.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Glucotrol XL (glipizide).
  • Eat regular and well-balanced meals to keep your blood sugar levels normal.
  • Check your blood sugar regularly.
  • Glucotrol XL (glipizide) can cause dizziness so avoid activities that require coordination until you know how your body can handle the medicine.
Learn more
More about ActosSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Actos (pioglitazone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about GlucotrolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Glucotrol XL (glipizide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it