Compare Glyburide vs. Actos

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

Diabeta
(Glyburide)

Actos
(Pioglitazone)

Lowers blood sugar. Glyburide is a very effective oral blood sugar-lowering medicine, but has more side effects and restrictions compared to other medicines in this class (sulfonylureas).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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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.4036697247706424Glyburide
Reviews for Diabeta (Glyburide)
46%
of people say Diabeta (Glyburide) is worth it
33%
say it works well
20%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Actos (Pioglitazone)
42%
4% vs. Diabeta (Glyburide)
31%
2% vs. Diabeta (Glyburide)
21%
1% vs. Diabeta (Glyburide)
Side effects
GlyburideActos

The Glyburide FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Glyburide side effects »
  • Swelling due to excess fluid 11%
  • Low blood sugar 8%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 4%
  • Sore throat 4%
  • Cardiac failure 2%
  • Muscle pain 2%
  • Headache 2%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Sinus inflammation 1%
More Actos side effects »
How it works
GlyburideActos
Glyburide 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
GlyburideActos
Anti-diabetic
Sulfonylurea
Prescription only
Anti-diabetic
Thiazoladinedione
Prescription only
Available as
GlyburideActos
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
GlyburideActos
Risk factors for serious side effects
GlyburideActos
    • Elderly
    • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
    • Alcohol
    • Intense physical activity
    • History of sulfa allergies
    Detailed Diabeta (Glyburide) risks & warnings »
    • Heart failure diagnosis
      • Current liver problems
        • Female
        Detailed Actos (Pioglitazone) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        GlyburideActos
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        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.

        See the FDA package insert
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        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.

        See the FDA package insert
        Alcohol
        • Avoid drinking alcohol.
        No specific alcohol-related info.
        Food
        • Works best if you take it 30 minutes before a meal, usually your first big meal of the day.
        • Eat regular, balanced meals to avoid low blood sugar.
        No specific food-related info.
        Kidneys and liver
        • Not a good choice for people with kidney problems because it's processed by the kidneys.
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        Sex
        No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
        Sleep
        No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
        Weight
        • 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.
        • Actos (Pioglitazone) can cause too much fluid buildup in your body, which can cause or worsen congestive heart failure. Your doctor should follow your blood tests and weight closely when you start Actos (Pioglitazone) or increase your dose. People with heart failure classification NYHA Class III/IV shouldn't use Actos (Pioglitazone).
        • Actos (Pioglitazone) may increase fluid buildup in your body, called edema. The risk increases with a higher dose. Tell your doctor about any unexpected weight gain, swelling of extremities, or trouble breathing.
        Upsides and benefits
        GlyburideActos
        • Lowers A1c levels by 1-2%. (Hemoglobin A1c measures your average blood sugar over time.)
        • One of the least expensive diabetes medicines.
        • Oral blood sugar-lowering medicine.
        • Prevents the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
        • Lowers A1c levels by around 1%. (Hemoglobin A1c measures your average blood sugar over time.)
        • Rarely causes low blood sugar.
        • Oral blood sugar-lowering medicine.
        • Prevents the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
        Downsides and risks
        GlyburideActos
        • 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).
        • Not preferred for people 65 years or older since it can cause prolonged low blood sugar (more than 12 hours).
        • Not a good choice for people with kidney problems because it's processed by the kidneys.
        • Loses effectiveness over time or as your body stops making insulin.
        • 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
        GlyburideActos
        • 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 GlyburideSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about ActosSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert