Compare metformin vs. Actos

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

Glucophage (metformin)

Prescription only

Actos (pioglitazone)

Prescription only
Lowers blood sugar.

Glucophage (metformin) is the first choice medicine to control your blood sugar and lower the risk of death from diabetes, although a few people may not tolerate the stomach side effects.

5.0/ 7 average rating with 938 reviewsformetformin
Lowers blood sugar.

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

4.1/ 7 average rating with 175 reviewsforActos
Upsides
  • Improves sugar control and lowers A1c levels as much as 2%.
  • One of the few diabetes medicines that lowers the risk of death from diabetes-related complications.
  • Doesn't cause weight gain.
  • Rarely causes low blood sugar.
  • 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
  • Often causes stomach upset, like diarrhea, nausea, gas, or stomach cramping.
  • Usually not a good choice for people with kidney problems. Your doctor will tell you if Glucophage (metformin) is right for you to take.
  • Excessive or chronic alcohol use can increase the risk of a dangerous side effect.
  • 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
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Price
Lowest price near you
$4
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Lowest price near you
$12.05
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Reviews
938 
65%
think this treatment is worth it
46%
think this treatment works well
16%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Glucophage (metformin)?

Leave a review
175 
42%
think this treatment is worth it
30%
think this treatment works well
21%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Actos (pioglitazone)?

Leave a review
Side effects
7possible side effects
  • Diarrhea
    53%
  • Nausea/vomiting
    26%
  • Gas
    12%
  • Weakness
    9%
  • Indigestion
    7%
  • Stomach pain
    6%
  • Headache
    6%
See more detailed side effects
10possible 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%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and warnings
  • Excess lactic acid in the blood

    Kidney problems

    ...and 5 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Heart failure

    Heart failure

  • Liver damage

    Current liver problems

  • Bladder cancer

    History of bladder cancer

  • Bone fracture

    Women

See more detailed risks and warnings