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 blood sugar. Januvia (Sitagliptin) is a good add-on treatment if your blood sugar is still too high, but you don't want to use an injectable medicine.
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Coupons for
Prices and coupon for 30 (30mg) tablets of pioglitazone
Coupons for
Prices and coupon for 30 (100mg) tablets of sitagliptin
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 Januvia (sitagliptin)
44%
+2% better vs. Actos (pioglitazone)
34%
+4% better vs. Actos (pioglitazone)
17%
+4% better vs. Actos (pioglitazone)
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%
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. It helps your body release more insulin in order to lower blood sugar.
Type of medication
ActosJanuvia
Prescription only
Prescription 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 »
          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.

          Weight
          ActosJanuvia
          • 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.
          • Unlike some diabetes medicines, it's unlikely to cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
          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.
          • Lowers A1c levels by 0.5-0.8%. (Hemoglobin A1c measures your average blood sugar over time.)
          • Prevents the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
          • Uses the hormones naturally produced by your body to affect how sugar is processed.
          • Unlike some diabetes medicines, it's unlikely to cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
          • You don't have to check your blood sugar every day with this medicine.
          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.
          • Not as strong as other diabetes medicines. Your doctor might add it to your blood sugar-lowering regimen if your sugar levels are still too high.
          • Likely expensive since there's no generic version available.
          • Some people might get frequent throat infections or nasal congestion.
          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.
          • Can cause headache and cold-like symptoms.
          • Tell your doctor about persistent stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite.
          • Can be expensive depending on insurance coverage.
          • Check your blood sugar regularly.
          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