Compare Actos vs. Januvia

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

Actos
(pioglitazone)

Januvia
(sitagliptin)

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 your blood sugar. Januvia (sitagliptin) is a good add-on treatment if your blood sugars are not controlled and you don't want to use an injectable medicine.
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Coupons for Actos
Best available price for 30 (30mg) tablets of actos
Coupons for Januvia
Best available price for 30 (100mg) tablets of januvia
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 Januvia
44%
-2% worse vs. Actos
34%
-4% worse vs. Actos
17%
-4% worse vs. Actos
143 reviews
Have you used Januvia (sitagliptin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ActosJanuvia
  • 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 »
  • Common cold 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Upper respiratory infection 3%
  • Headache 1%
More Januvia side effects »
How it works
ActosJanuvia
Actos (Pioglitazone) is an anti-diabetic drug. It improves your body's ability to use insulin to lower your blood sugar.Januvia (sitagliptin) is an anti-diabetic drug that enhances your body's release of insulin.
Type of medication
ActosJanuvia
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ActosJanuvia
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
ActosJanuvia
Risk factors for serious side effects
ActosJanuvia
  • Heart failure diagnosis
  • Current liver problems
  • Female
Detailed Actos (pioglitazone) risks & warnings »
  • History of pancreatitis
  • High blood triglyceride levels
  • Gallstones (stones in gallbladder)
  • History of alchoholism
  • Kidney problems
Detailed Januvia (sitagliptin) 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
ActosJanuvia
No food related info.
  • Take once a day in the morning with or without food.
Kidneys and liver
ActosJanuvia
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Januvia (sitagliptin) can worsen kidney problems. Your doctor may check your kidney function before and during treatment. Your doctor may have to adjust the dose or stop this medicine based on changes in kidney function.
Pain
ActosJanuvia
No pain related info.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain, nausea, and/or vomiting. These are symptoms of pancreatitis.
Weight
ActosJanuvia
  • 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.
  • It is less likely to cause weight gain and low blood sugar compared to other diabetes medicines.
Upsides and benefits
ActosJanuvia
  • 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.
  • Oral blood sugar-lowering medicine.
  • Januvia (sitagliptin) is not linked to worsening heart failure like other medicines in its class.
  • Uses the hormones naturally produced by your body to affect how sugar is processed.
  • It is less likely to cause weight gain and low blood sugar compared to other diabetes medicines.
Downsides and risks
ActosJanuvia
  • 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.
  • Lowers A1c (average blood sugar over time) by less than 1%.
  • Available as brand version only.
  • Some people might get frequent cold-like symptoms.
  • Rare but serious side effects include pancreatitis and severe joint pain.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ActosJanuvia
  • 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 once a day in the morning with or without food.
  • Can cause headache and cold-like symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain, nausea, and/or vomiting. These are symptoms of pancreatitis.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you are experiencing severe joint pain.
  • Check your blood sugar regularly to check for low blood sugar.
Learn more
More about ActosSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Actos (pioglitazone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about JanuviaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Januvia (sitagliptin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it