Compare Actos vs. Human Insulin

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

Actos (pioglitazone)

Prescription only

Humulin (Human Insulin)

Prescription only
Lowers blood sugar.

Actos (pioglitazone) can improve blood sugar control but is not a top choice since it has a lot of side effects.

3.1/ 5 average rating with 175 reviewsforActos
Lowers blood sugar.

This form of insulin is one of the few medications in its class that you can get without a prescription, but it's expensive.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 57 reviewsforHuman Insulin
Upsides
  • Improves sugar control and lowers A1c levels by around 1%.
  • Easily taken by mouth as a once a day pill.
  • Prevents the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs.
  • Rarely causes low blood sugar.
  • Lower the risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • Some types of this medication are available without a prescription.
  • Available as a shot to be injected into the fatty part of the skin, and as a powder to be inhaled through your nose.
  • Available in different combinations so that you can do one shot or multiple shots a day.
Downsides
  • May take several weeks to lower blood sugar.
  • Can cause weight gain.
  • People with heart failure or history of bladder cancer shouldn't use this medicine.
  • Some people might get fluid accumulation (edema), from minor ankle swelling to fluid in lungs that makes it hard to breathe.
  • Raises the risk of bone fractures, especially for people who already have a risk for fractures.
  • Has to be taken exactly as directed or it can cause high or low blood sugar.
  • As with all insulins, you have to work with your doctor closely to make sure you're giving yourself the correct dose, or you can have low or high blood sugar.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Inhaler
Price
No pricing information available
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Reviews
175 reviews so far
42%
saidit'sworth it
30%
saiditworked well
21%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Actos (pioglitazone)?

Leave a review
57 reviews so far
67%
saidit'sworth it
46%
saiditworked well
11%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Humulin (Human Insulin)?

Leave a review
Side effects
11possible side effects
  • Low blood sugar
    27%
  • Swelling
    27%
  • Colds and flu
    13%
  • Headache
    9%
  • Heart failure
    8%
  • Sinus infection
    6%
  • Back pain
    6%
  • Pain in arms and legs
    6%
  • Muscle pain
    5%
  • Sore throat
    5%
  • Chest pain
    5%
See more detailed side effects
The Humulin (Human Insulin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Heart failure
    • Heart failure
  • Fluid buildup
  • Liver damage
    • Current liver problems
  • Bladder cancer
    • History of bladder cancer
  • Bone fracture
    • Women
  • Low blood sugar
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Changes in blood sugar
  • Changes in skin appearance
  • Weight gain
See more detailed risks and warnings