Compare Actos vs. Novolog

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

Actos
(pioglitazone)

Novolog
(insulin aspart)

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. Novolog is a fast-acting insulin that provides meal-time sugar control. It can cause low blood sugar, so make sure you know what the symptoms are and always have a source of sugar nearby.
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 Novolog
58%
-16% worse vs. Actos
46%
-16% worse vs. Actos
19%
-2% worse vs. Actos
177 reviews
Have you used Novolog (insulin aspart)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ActosNovolog
  • Swelling 11%
  • Low blood sugar 8%
  • Colds and flu 4%
  • Headache 2%
  • Heart failure 2%
  • Sinus infection 1%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Muscle pain 2%
More Actos side effects »
  • Hyporeflexia 11%
  • Onychomycosis 10%
  • Sensory disturbance 9%
  • Urinary tract infection 8%
  • Chest pain 5%
  • Headache 5%
  • Skin disorder 5%
  • Abdominal pain 5%
  • Sinusitis 5%
  • Injury accidental 11%
More Novolog side effects »
How it works
ActosNovolog
Actos (pioglitazone) is a thiazolidinedione that improves your body's ability to use insulin to lower your blood sugar.Novolog is a short-acting insulin medicine for diabetes. It acts like the insulin that your body normally makes to process sugars and fats, and it keeps your blood sugar stable after meals.
Type of medication
ActosNovolog
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ActosNovolog
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for
ActosNovolog
Risk factors for serious side effects
ActosNovolog
  • Heart failure
  • Current liver problems
  • History of bladder cancer
  • Women
Detailed Actos (pioglitazone) risks & warnings »
  • Insulin dose too high
  • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
  • Poor injection techniques
  • Unstable kidney functions
  • Unstable liver functions
Detailed Novolog (insulin aspart) 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
ActosNovolog
  • Take once a day with or without food.
  • Short-acting insulin good for blood sugar control around meal times.
  • Novolog is a fast-acting insulin that provides sugar control after meals.
Kidneys and liver
ActosNovolog
  • 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.
  • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
Weight
ActosNovolog
  • Can cause weight gain, headache, and swelling from fluid build-up.
  • Can cause weight gain.
  • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
  • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
Upsides and benefits
ActosNovolog
  • 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.
  • Insulin is the most effective blood sugar-lowering medicine. When used correctly, it'll lower blood sugar every time you use it and prevent the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
  • Novolog is a fast-acting insulin that provides sugar control after meals.
  • Dose can be easily adjusted to make a customized regimen that's tailored to your body.
  • Starting insulin early in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes can maintain your body's insulin-producing cells and slow down disease progression.
  • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
Downsides and risks
ActosNovolog
  • 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.
  • You have to take insulin by injection.
  • You have to check your blood sugar multiple times every day, usually before each meal.
  • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
  • Higher risk of low blood sugar episodes than other kinds of diabetes medicines.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ActosNovolog
  • 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.
  • Short-acting insulin good for blood sugar control around meal times.
  • Take 5 to 10 minutes before a meal. Effects last for 2-4 hours.
  • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
  • Make sure you and your family know the symptoms of low blood sugar: sweating, shakiness, weakness, fast heartbeat, nervousness, headache, blurry vision, trouble thinking clearly, or passing out.
  • Always have a good source of sugar nearby for low blood sugar episodes.
  • Make sure you understand how to give yourself the injections.
  • When mixing with another insulin (such as insulin NPH), draw this insulin into the syringe first.
  • Don't shake the vial. Store unopened vials in the refrigerator. Opened vials are good at room temperature for 28 days.
  • Check your blood sugar levels every day.
Learn more
More about ActosSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Actos (pioglitazone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about NovologSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Novolog (insulin aspart)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it