Compare Januvia vs. Actos

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

Januvia (sitagliptin)

Prescription only

Actos (pioglitazone)

Prescription only
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.

3.2/ 5 average rating with 143 reviewsforJanuvia
Lowers blood sugar.

Actos (pioglitazone) can improve blood sugar control but is not a top choice since it has a lot of side effects.

3.1/ 5 average rating with 175 reviewsforActos
Upsides
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
143 reviews so far
44%
saidit'sworth it
34%
saiditworked well
17%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Januvia (sitagliptin)?

Leave a review
175 reviews so far
42%
saidit'sworth it
30%
saiditworked well
21%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Actos (pioglitazone)?

Leave a review
Side effects
3possible side effects
  • Common cold
    5%
  • Diarrhea
    3%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
See more detailed side effects
11possible side effects
  • Low blood sugar
    27%
  • Swelling
    27%
  • Colds and flu
    13%
  • Headache
    9%
  • Heart failure
    8%
  • Sinus infection
    6%
  • Back pain
    6%
  • Pain in arms and legs
    6%
  • Muscle pain
    5%
  • Sore throat
    5%
  • Chest pain
    5%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Death from inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
    • History of pancreatitis
    • High blood triglyceride levels
    • Gallstones (stones in gallbladder)
    • History of alchoholism
    • Kidney problems
  • Serious allergic reactions
  • Kidney damage
    • Pre-existing kidney damage
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
    • Taking medicines for diabetes
  • Severe joint pain and swelling
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Heart failure
    • Heart failure
  • Fluid buildup
  • Liver damage
    • Current liver problems
  • Bladder cancer
    • History of bladder cancer
  • Bone fracture
    • Women
  • Low blood sugar
See more detailed risks and warnings