Compare Actos vs. Humalog

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

Actos
(Pioglitazone)

Humalog
(Insulin Lispro)

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. Humalog is a fast-acting insulin that provides meal-time sugar control. It can cause low blood sugar, so make sure you know what the symptoms are and always have a source of sugar nearby.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.11Actos
Reviews for Actos (Pioglitazone)
42%
of people (All ages) say Actos (Pioglitazone) 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 Humalog (Insulin Lispro)
64%
+22% better vs. Actos (Pioglitazone)
50%
+20% better vs. Actos (Pioglitazone)
16%
+5% better vs. Actos (Pioglitazone)
280 reviews
Have you used Humalog (Insulin Lispro)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ActosHumalog
  • 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 »
  • Flu syndrome 35%
  • Sore throat 33%
  • Headache 30%
  • Inflammation inside the nose 25%
  • Pain 20%
  • Cough increased 17%
  • Infection 14%
  • Accidental injury 9%
  • Diarrhea 9%
  • Muscle weakness 7%
More Humalog side effects »
How it works
ActosHumalog
Actos (Pioglitazone) is an anti-diabetic drug. It improves your body's ability to use insulin to lower your blood sugar.Humalog is a short-acting insulin medicine for diabetes. It acts like the insulin that your body normally makes to process sugars and fats, and it keeps your blood sugar stable after meals.
Type of medication
ActosHumalog
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
ActosHumalog
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for
ActosHumalog
Risk factors for serious side effects
ActosHumalog
  • Heart failure diagnosis
    • Current liver problems
      • Female
      Detailed Actos (Pioglitazone) risks & warnings »
      • Insulin dose too high
      • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
      • Poor injection techniques
      • Unstable kidney functions
      • Unstable liver functions
      • Use of other medicine that lowers potassium
      • Current electrolyte imbalance
        Detailed Humalog (Insulin Lispro) 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.

        Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

        Food
        ActosHumalog
        No food related info.
        • Short-acting insulin good for blood sugar control around meal times.
        Kidneys and liver
        ActosHumalog
        No kidneys and liver related info.
        • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
        Weight
        ActosHumalog
        • More likely to cause weight gain (2 to 6 pounds or more) compared to other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
        • Can cause weight gain, headache, and fluid retention.
        • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
        • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
        Upsides and benefits
        ActosHumalog
        • 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.
        • Insulin is the most effective blood sugar-lowering medicine. When used correctly, it'll lower blood sugar every time you use it and prevent the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
        • Humalog is a fast-acting insulin that provides sugar control after meals.
        • Dose can be easily adjusted to make a customized regimen that's tailored to your body.
        • Starting insulin early in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes can maintain your body's insulin-producing cells and slow down disease progression.
        • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
        Downsides and risks
        ActosHumalog
        • 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.
        • You have to take insulin by injection.
        • You have to check your blood sugar multiple times every day, usually before each meal.
        • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
        • Higher risk of low blood sugar episodes than other kinds of diabetes medicines.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        ActosHumalog
        • 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.
        • Short-acting insulin good for blood sugar control around meal times.
        • Take 5 to 10 minutes before a meal. Effects last for 2-4 hours.
        • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
        • Make sure you and your family know the symptoms of low blood sugar: sweating, shakiness, weakness, fast heartbeat, nervousness, headache, blurry vision, trouble thinking clearly, or passing out.
        • Always have a good source of sugar nearby for low blood sugar episodes.
        • Make sure you understand how to give yourself the injections.
        • When mixing with another insulin (such as insulin NPH), draw this insulin into the syringe first.
        • Don't shake the vial. Store unopened vials in the refrigerator. Opened vials are good at room temperature for 28 days.
        • Check your blood sugar levels every day.
        Learn more
        More about ActosSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Actos (Pioglitazone)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about HumalogSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Humalog (Insulin Lispro)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it