Compare Lantus vs. Actos

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

Lantus
(Insulin Glargine)

Actos
(pioglitazone)

Lowers blood sugar. Lantus (Insulin Glargine) is a long-acting insulin that provides all-day sugar control. 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) can improve blood sugar control but is not a top choice since it has a lot of side effects.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.08Lantus
Reviews for Lantus
67%
of people (All ages) say Lantus is worth it
51%
say it works well
14%
say it's a big hassle
584 reviews
Have you used Lantus (Insulin Glargine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Actos
42%
+25% better vs. Lantus
30%
+21% better vs. Lantus
21%
+7% better vs. Lantus
175 reviews
Have you used Actos (pioglitazone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
LantusActos
  • Accidental injury 6%
  • Headache 6%
  • Infection 9%
  • Upper respiratory tract infection 22%
  • Retinal vascular disorder 6%
  • Urinary tract infection 11%
  • Diarrhea 11%
  • Depression 11%
  • Cough 12%
  • Pain in extremity 13%
More Lantus side effects »
  • Muscle pain 2%
  • Sore throat 4%
  • Sinus infection 1%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Heart failure 2%
  • Headache 2%
  • Colds and flu 4%
  • Low blood sugar 8%
More Actos side effects »
How it works
LantusActos
Lantus (Insulin Glargine) is a long-acting insulin medicine for diabetes. It acts like the insulin that your body normally makes to process sugars and fats, and it keeps your blood sugar stable throughout the day.Actos (pioglitazone) is a thiazolidinedione that improves your body's ability to use insulin to lower your blood sugar.
Type of medication
LantusActos
Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
LantusActos
  • Injection
  • Pill
Used for
LantusActos
Risk factors for serious side effects
LantusActos
  • Insulin dose too high
  • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
  • Poor injection techniques
  • Unstable kidney functions
  • Unstable liver functions
Detailed Lantus (Insulin Glargine) risks & warnings »
  • Heart failure
  • Current liver problems
  • History of bladder cancer
  • Women
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.

Food
LantusActos
No food related info.
  • Take once a day with or without food.
Kidneys and liver
LantusActos
  • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
  • If you've had liver problems or damage in the past, talk to your doctor before starting Actos (pioglitazone), since there's a small chance that it can hurt your liver. Tell your doctor about any stomach pain that don't go away, dark urine, or yellowing of eyes/skin. Your doctor will check your liver regularly.
Weight
LantusActos
  • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
  • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
  • Can cause weight gain, headache, and swelling from fluid build-up.
  • Can cause weight gain.
Upsides and benefits
LantusActos
  • Insulin is the most effective blood sugar-lowering medicine. When used correctly, it'll lower blood sugar every time you use it and prevent the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
  • Lantus is a long-lasting insulin that provides consistent, all-day sugar control with less risk of low blood sugar.
  • Dose can be easily adjusted to make a customized regimen that's tailored to your body.
  • Starting insulin early in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes can maintain your body's insulin-producing cells and slow down disease progression.
  • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering 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 and risks
LantusActos
  • You have to take insulin by injection.
  • You have to check your blood sugar every day.
  • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
  • Higher risk of low blood sugar episodes than other kinds of diabetes medicines.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
LantusActos
  • Long-acting insulin good for baseline blood sugar control.
  • Works in 1 hour and lasts about 24 hours.
  • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
  • Make sure you and your family know the symptoms of low blood sugar: sweating, shakiness, weakness, fast heartbeat, nervousness, headache, blurry vision, trouble thinking clearly, or passing out.
  • Always have a good source of sugar nearby for low blood sugar episodes.
  • Take it at the same time every day.
  • Make sure you understand how to give yourself the injections.
  • Don't shake the vial or mix with another insulin. Store unopened vials in the refrigerator. Opened vials are good at room temperature for 28 days.
  • Check your blood sugar levels every day.
  • Take once a day with or without food.
  • May need several weeks to see full effect on blood sugar control.
  • Can cause weight gain, headache, and swelling from fluid build-up.
  • Tell your doctor about any shortness of breath, heart troubles, or unusual swelling.
  • Not recommended for patients with a history of heart failure or bladder cancer.
  • Check your blood sugar regularly.
Learn more
More about LantusSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lantus (Insulin Glargine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ActosSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Actos (pioglitazone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it