Compare Januvia vs. Actos

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

Januvia
(sitagliptin)

Actos
(pioglitazone)

Lowers your blood sugar. Januvia (sitagliptin) is a good add-on treatment if your blood sugars are not controlled and you don't want to use an injectable medicine.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.
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
Coupons for Januvia
Best available price for 30 (100mg) tablets of sitagliptin
Coupons for Actos
Best available price for 30 (30mg) tablets of pioglitazone
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.34Januvia
Reviews for Januvia (sitagliptin)
44%
of people (All ages) say Januvia (sitagliptin) is worth it
34%
say it works well
17%
say it's a big hassle
143 reviews
Have you used Januvia (sitagliptin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Actos (pioglitazone)
42%
-2% worse vs. Januvia (sitagliptin)
30%
-4% worse vs. Januvia (sitagliptin)
21%
-4% worse vs. Januvia (sitagliptin)
175 reviews
Have you used Actos (pioglitazone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
JanuviaActos
  • Common cold 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Upper respiratory infection 3%
  • Headache 1%
More Januvia 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
JanuviaActos
Januvia (sitagliptin) is an anti-diabetic drug that enhances your body's release of insulin.Actos (Pioglitazone) is an anti-diabetic drug. It improves your body's ability to use insulin to lower your blood sugar.
Type of medication
JanuviaActos
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
JanuviaActos
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
JanuviaActos
Risk factors for serious side effects
JanuviaActos
  • History of pancreatitis
  • High blood triglyceride levels
  • Gallstones (stones in gallbladder)
  • History of alchoholism
  • Kidney problems
Detailed Januvia (sitagliptin) risks & warnings »
  • Heart failure diagnosis
  • Current liver problems
  • Female
Detailed Actos (pioglitazone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

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.

Food
JanuviaActos
  • Take once a day in the morning with or without food.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
JanuviaActos
  • Januvia (sitagliptin) can worsen kidney problems. Your doctor may check your kidney function before and during treatment. Your doctor may have to adjust the dose or stop this medicine based on changes in kidney function.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Pain
JanuviaActos
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain, nausea, and/or vomiting. These are symptoms of pancreatitis.
No pain related info.
Weight
JanuviaActos
  • It is less likely to cause weight gain and low blood sugar compared to other diabetes medicines.
  • 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
JanuviaActos
  • Oral blood sugar-lowering medicine.
  • Januvia (sitagliptin) is not linked to worsening heart failure like other medicines in its class.
  • Uses the hormones naturally produced by your body to affect how sugar is processed.
  • It is less likely to cause weight gain and low blood sugar compared to other 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
JanuviaActos
  • Lowers A1c (average blood sugar over time) by less than 1%.
  • Available as brand version only.
  • Some people might get frequent cold-like symptoms.
  • Rare but serious side effects include pancreatitis and severe joint pain.
  • 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
JanuviaActos
  • Take once a day in the morning with or without food.
  • Can cause headache and cold-like symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain, nausea, and/or vomiting. These are symptoms of pancreatitis.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you are experiencing severe joint pain.
  • Check your blood sugar regularly to check for low blood sugar.
  • 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 JanuviaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Januvia (sitagliptin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ActosSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Actos (pioglitazone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it