Compare Precose vs. Actos

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



Coming soon.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
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Reviews for Actos (Pioglitazone)
58% vs. Precose (Acarbose)
69% vs. Precose (Acarbose)
21% vs. Precose (Acarbose)
173 reviews
Side effects

We haven’t found good data for Precose side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Precose »
  • Swelling due to excess fluid 11%
  • Low blood sugar 8%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 4%
  • Sore throat 4%
  • Cardiac failure 2%
  • Muscle pain 2%
  • Headache 2%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Sinus inflammation 1%
More Actos side effects »
How it works
Coming soon.Actos (Pioglitazone) is an anti-diabetic drug. It improves your body's ability to use insulin to lower your blood sugar.
Type of medication
Coming soon.
Prescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
  • Diabetes mellitus type 2
Risk factors for serious side effects
Coming soon.
  • Heart failure diagnosis
    • Current liver problems
      • Female
      Detailed Actos (Pioglitazone) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

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

      See the FDA package insert
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
      No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
      No specific weight-related info.
      • 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.
      • Actos (Pioglitazone) can cause too much fluid buildup in your body, which can cause or worsen congestive heart failure. Your doctor should follow your blood tests and weight closely when you start Actos (Pioglitazone) or increase your dose. People with heart failure classification NYHA Class III/IV shouldn't use Actos (Pioglitazone).
      • Actos (Pioglitazone) may increase fluid buildup in your body, called edema. The risk increases with a higher dose. Tell your doctor about any unexpected weight gain, swelling of extremities, or trouble breathing.
      Upsides and benefits
      Coming soon.
      • 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
      Coming soon.
      • 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
      Coming soon.
      • 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 PrecoseSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
      More about ActosSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert