Compare Glucotrol vs. Actos

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

Glucotrol
(glipizide)

Actos
(pioglitazone)

Lowers blood sugar. Glucotrol (glipizide) is an effective medicine for lowering blood sugar, but it can cause your blood sugar level to be too low so you must always carry some form of sugar with you that can be readily used.Lowers blood sugar. Actos (pioglitazone) can improve blood sugar control but is not a top choice since it has a lot of side effects.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.29Glucotrol
Reviews for Glucotrol
50%
of people (All ages) say Glucotrol is worth it
32%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
332 reviews
Have you used Glucotrol (glipizide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Actos
42%
+8% better vs. Glucotrol
30%
+2% better vs. Glucotrol
21%
+2% better vs. Glucotrol
175 reviews
Have you used Actos (pioglitazone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
GlucotrolActos
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Nervousness 1%
  • Tremor 4%
  • Passing gas 2%
  • Low blood sugar 3%
  • Constipation 3%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Headache 2%
More Glucotrol side effects »
  • 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 »
How it works
GlucotrolActos
Glucotrol (glipizide) stimulates your body to release insulin and lower blood sugar.Actos (pioglitazone) is a thiazolidinedione that improves your body's ability to use insulin to lower your blood sugar.
Type of medication
GlucotrolActos
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
GlucotrolActos
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Pill
Used for
GlucotrolActos
Risk factors for serious side effects
GlucotrolActos
  • Skipping meals or having inconsistent meal times
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Using other blood sugar-lowering medicine
  • People age 60 or older
  • Those with kidney and/or liver problems
Detailed Glucotrol (glipizide) risks & warnings »
  • Heart failure
  • Current liver problems
  • History of bladder cancer
  • Women
Detailed Actos (pioglitazone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy
Alcohol
GlucotrolActos
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Glucotrol (glipizide).
No alcohol related info.
Food
GlucotrolActos
  • Eat regular and well-balanced meals to keep your blood sugar levels normal.
  • Take once a day with or without food.
Kidneys and liver
GlucotrolActos
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • 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.
Weight
GlucotrolActos
  • Can cause mild weight gain of 2-3lb.
  • Can cause weight gain, headache, and swelling from fluid build-up.
  • Can cause weight gain.
Upsides and benefits
GlucotrolActos
  • Lowers A1c levels by 1-2%.
  • Glucotrol (glipizide) is an oral medicine so it might be a good alternative for those who don't like injections.
  • Protects your organs and blood vessels by preventing the harmful effects of high blood sugar levels.
  • Okay to use by people with kidney problems.
  • Available as a generic form and is relatively cheap.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
GlucotrolActos
  • Has a higher risk than other diabetes medicine for causing blood sugar levels to be too low.
  • While taking Glucotrol (glipizide), your blood sugars should be checked 2 to 5 times a week, but less often once you are on a stable dose.
  • Can cause mild weight gain of 2-3lb.
  • Might lose its effectiveness over time.
  • Needs to be taken 30 minutes before a meal for it to be most effective.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
GlucotrolActos
  • Take the medicine 30 minutes before eating, usually before your first big meal of the day.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Glucotrol (glipizide).
  • Eat regular and well-balanced meals to keep your blood sugar levels normal.
  • Check your blood sugar regularly.
  • Glucotrol (glipizide) can cause dizziness so avoid activities that require coordination until you know how your body can handle the medicine.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about GlucotrolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Glucotrol (glipizide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ActosSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Actos (pioglitazone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it