Compare Actos vs. Human Insulin

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

Actos
(pioglitazone)

Humulin
(Human Insulin)

Lowers blood sugar. Actos (pioglitazone) can improve blood sugar control but is not a top choice since it has a lot of side effects.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.
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 Human Insulin
67%
-25% worse vs. Actos
46%
-16% worse vs. Actos
11%
-10% worse vs. Actos
Have you used Humulin (Human Insulin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ActosHuman Insulin
  • Muscle pain 2%
  • Sore throat 4%
  • Sinus infection 1%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Heart failure 2%
  • Headache 2%
  • Colds and flu 4%
  • Low blood sugar 8%
More Actos side effects »

The Human Insulin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Human Insulin side effects »
How it works
ActosHuman Insulin
Actos (pioglitazone) is a thiazolidinedione that improves your body's ability to use insulin to lower your blood sugar.Insulin is a hormone normally produced by your pancreas. It helps your body absorb and store sugar and fat from your bloodstream.
Type of medication
ActosHuman Insulin
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyNo lower cost generic available
Available as
ActosHuman Insulin
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Inhaler
Used for
ActosHuman Insulin
Risk factors for serious side effects
ActosHuman Insulin
  • Heart failure
  • Current liver problems
  • History of bladder cancer
  • Women
Detailed Actos (pioglitazone) risks & warnings »
    Detailed Humulin (Human Insulin) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy

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

    Food
    ActosHuman Insulin
    • Take once a day with or without food.
    No food related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    ActosHuman Insulin
    • If you've had liver problems or damage in the past, talk to your doctor before starting Actos (pioglitazone), since there's a small chance that it can hurt your liver. Tell your doctor about any stomach pain that don't go away, dark urine, or yellowing of eyes/skin. Your doctor will check your liver regularly.
    No kidneys and liver related info.
    Weight
    ActosHuman Insulin
    • Can cause weight gain, headache, and swelling from fluid build-up.
    • Can cause weight gain.
    • People on Humulin (Human Insulin) can experience weight gain. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about changing your diet if this bothers you.
    Upsides and benefits
    ActosHuman Insulin
    • 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 and risks
    ActosHuman Insulin
    • 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.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    ActosHuman Insulin
    • Take once a day with or without food.
    • May need several weeks to see full effect on blood sugar control.
    • Can cause weight gain, headache, and swelling from fluid build-up.
    • Tell your doctor about any shortness of breath, heart troubles, or unusual swelling.
    • Not recommended for patients with a history of heart failure or bladder cancer.
    • Check your blood sugar regularly.
    • Change the location where you give yourself the shot every time.
    • Don't use if the liquid in the vial looks different than normal.
    • Store the unopened vials in the refrigerator. The used vials can be kept at room temperature for up to 28 days.
    • Take the medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
    • Know the symptoms of low blood sugar.
    Learn more
    More about ActosSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Actos (pioglitazone)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about Human InsulinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Humulin (Human Insulin)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it