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 a very effective oral blood sugar-lowering medicine. It can cause low blood sugar, so make sure you know what the symptoms are and always have a source of sugar nearby.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.
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Coupons for Glucotrol
Best available price for 60 (5mg) tablets of glipizide
Coupons for Actos
Best available price for 30 (30mg) tablets of actos
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%
  • Drowsiness 2%
More Glucotrol side effects »
  • 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 »
How it works
GlucotrolActos
Glucotrol (Glipizide) is an anti-diabetic drug. It stimulates your body to make more insulin to lower blood sugar.Actos (Pioglitazone) is an anti-diabetic drug. It 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
Used for
GlucotrolActos
Risk factors for serious side effects
GlucotrolActos
  • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
  • Alcohol
  • Intense physical activity
  • History of sulfa allergies
Detailed Glucotrol (glipizide) risks & warnings »
  • Heart failure diagnosis
  • Current liver problems
  • Female
Detailed Actos (pioglitazone) 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 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.

Alcohol
GlucotrolActos
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
No alcohol related info.
Food
GlucotrolActos
  • Food can cause unpredictable effects of the immediate-release version of Glipizide, so you have to take it at least 30 minutes before a meal.
  • Eat regular, balanced meals to avoid low blood sugar.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
GlucotrolActos
  • Might be a better choice for people with kidney problems compared to similar drugs because Glipizide isn't processed by the kidneys.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Weight
GlucotrolActos
  • Can cause mild weight gain (2 to 3 pounds).
  • Can cause weight gain, dizziness, or stomach upset.
  • 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.
Upsides and benefits
GlucotrolActos
  • Oral blood sugar-lowering medicine.
  • Lowers A1c levels by 1-2%. (Hemoglobin A1c measures your average blood sugar over time.)
  • Prevents the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
  • Might be a better choice for people with kidney problems compared to similar drugs because Glipizide isn't processed by the kidneys.
  • One of the least expensive diabetes medicines.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
GlucotrolActos
  • Higher risk of low blood sugar episodes than other kinds of oral diabetes medicines.
  • You have to check your blood sugar 2 to 5 times a week (less often once you are on a stable dose).
  • Can cause mild weight gain (2 to 3 pounds).
  • Loses effectiveness over time or as your body stops making insulin.
  • Food can cause unpredictable effects of the immediate-release version of Glipizide, so you have to take it at least 30 minutes before a meal.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
GlucotrolActos
  • Works best if you take it 30 minutes before a meal, usually your first big meal of the day.
  • Can cause weight gain, dizziness, or stomach upset.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Eat regular, balanced meals to avoid low blood sugar.
  • Check your blood sugar regularly.
  • 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.
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