Compare Invokana vs. Actos

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

Invokana
(Canagliflozin)

Actos
(Pioglitazone)

Lowers your blood sugar. Invokana (Canagliflozin) helps lower blood sugar for people with diabetes but it can increase the chance of a yeast infection and can be expensive.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
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Reviews for Actos (Pioglitazone)
42%
26% vs. Invokana (Canagliflozin)
31%
22% vs. Invokana (Canagliflozin)
21%
5% vs. Invokana (Canagliflozin)
Side effects
InvokanaActos
  • Female genital mycotic infections 8%
  • Increased urination 4%
  • Male genital mycotic infections 3%
  • Urinary tract infections 2%
  • Low blood sugar 1%
  • Constipation 1%
More Invokana 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
InvokanaActos
Invokana (Canagliflozin) is an anti-diabetes medication. It lowers blood sugar by causing your body to get rid of sugar in your urine.Actos (Pioglitazone) is an anti-diabetic drug. It improves your body's ability to use insulin to lower your blood sugar.
Type of medication
InvokanaActos
Anti-diabetic
SGLT2 inhibitor
Prescription only
Anti-diabetic
Thiazoladinedione
Prescription only
Available as
InvokanaActos
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
InvokanaActos
Risk factors for serious side effects
InvokanaActos
  • Over age 65
  • Kidney disease
  • Taking blood pressure medications
  • Kidney disease
  • Taking blood pressure medications
  • Using insulin
  • Using medications that increase the amount of insulin in your body (glipizide, glyburide or glimepiride)
  • Women
  • Uncircumcised men
      Detailed Invokana (Canagliflozin) risks & warnings »
      • Heart failure diagnosis
        • Current liver problems
          • Female
          Detailed Actos (Pioglitazone) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          InvokanaActos
          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
          No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
          Food
          • Take Invokana (Canagliflozin) before your first meal of the day.
          • Eat regular, balanced meals to avoid low blood sugar.
          • If you're taking Invokana (Canagliflozin) and you're on insulin or other drugs that increase the amount of insulin in your body, you can be at risk for having low blood sugar. Your doctor might have to adjust your dose of these other medications. Always have glucose tablets or another blood sugar rescue food with you in case you get low blood sugar. Good blood sugar rescue foods are 1/2 cup of orange juice, regular (not diet) soda, and 3 teaspoons of table sugar (or 3 sugar packets).
          No specific food-related info.
          Kidneys and liver
          • People on Invokana (Canagliflozin) have reported having low blood pressure. You are more likely to get this if you are over 65, have kidney disease, or taking blood pressure medications called ACE inhibitors or ARBs. Talk to your doctor since they might have to adjust your medications. Be very careful getting up from either sitting or lying down since you can feel dizzy the first few days you take Invokana (Canagliflozin).
          • People on Invokana (Canagliflozin) can get high potassium levels in the blood, especially if you have kidney disease or taking blood pressure medications that keep your potassium levels high. Your doctor can monitor your blood for potassium. Talk to your doctor if you suddenly feel weakness in your muscles, numbness or tingling, or if your heart starts beating irregularly.
          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
          No specific weight-related info.
          • 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
          InvokanaActos
          • Lowers A1c levels by 1% (A1c measures your average blood sugar over time.)
          • Prevents the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs.
          • Can be taken by mouth, only once a day, compared to other diabetes medications that require an injection.
          • Has a lower chance of causing low blood sugar than medications like glyburide or insulin.
          • Also available as a combination drug with metformin (Invokamet).
          • 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
          InvokanaActos
          • Only lowers A1c levels by 1%, which may not be enough to get your blood sugar in the safe range.
          • Not available as a generic.
          • Many other diabetes medications work as well and are cheaper.
          • Can cause increased urination, thirst, and increased likelihood to get yeast infections.
          • Not considered the best first choice drug to help lower blood sugar.
          • 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
          InvokanaActos
          • Take Invokana (Canagliflozin) before your first meal of the day.
          • Drink plenty of fluids since Invokana (Canagliflozin) can make you thirsty.
          • Eat regular, balanced meals to avoid low blood sugar.
          • It's best to check your blood sugar at least once a day using a home blood sugar monitor to make sure the medication is working well. Some people may need to test more often.
          • 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 InvokanaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about ActosSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert