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) 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. This form of insulin is one of the few medications in its class that you can get without a prescription, but it's expensive.
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
Coupons for Actos
Best available price for 30 (30mg) tablets of pioglitazone
No pricing data for this drug at this filter setting. Try searching onGoodRx
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 Humulin (human insulin)
67%
+25% better vs. Actos (pioglitazone)
46%
+16% better vs. Actos (pioglitazone)
11%
+10% better vs. Actos (pioglitazone)
Have you used Humulin (human insulin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ActosHuman Insulin
  • 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 »

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 an anti-diabetic drug. It 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 only
Prescription only
Available as
ActosHuman Insulin
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Inhaler
Used for
ActosHuman Insulin
Risk factors for serious side effects
ActosHuman Insulin
  • Heart failure diagnosis
  • Current liver problems
  • Female
Detailed Actos (pioglitazone) risks & warnings »
    Detailed Humulin (human insulin) 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.

    Weight
    ActosHuman Insulin
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 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
    • 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.
    • 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