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) 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
Filter group. All currently selected
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5.08Lantus
Reviews for Lantus (Insulin Glargine)
67%
of people (All ages) say Lantus (Insulin Glargine) 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 (Pioglitazone)
42%
-25% worse vs. Lantus (Insulin Glargine)
30%
-21% worse vs. Lantus (Insulin Glargine)
21%
-7% worse vs. Lantus (Insulin Glargine)
175 reviews
Have you used Actos (Pioglitazone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
LantusActos
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 22%
  • Infection 9%
  • Accidental injury 6%
  • Headache 6%
  • Ankle and leg swelling 20%
  • High blood pressure 20%
  • Sinus inflammation 19%
  • Flu 19%
  • Clouded eye lens 18%
  • Bronchitis 15%
More Lantus 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
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 an anti-diabetic drug. It improves your body's ability to use insulin to lower your blood sugar.
Type of medication
LantusActos
Prescription only
Prescription only
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
  • Use of other medicine that lowers potassium
  • Current electrolyte imbalance
    Detailed Lantus (Insulin Glargine) risks & warnings »
    • Heart failure diagnosis
      • Current liver problems
        • Female
        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.

        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.

        Kidneys and liver
        LantusActos
        • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
        No kidneys and liver related info.
        Weight
        LantusActos
        • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
        • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
        • 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
        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.
        • 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
        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.
        • 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
        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.
        • 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 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