Compare Actos vs. Afrezza

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

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Actos (pioglitazone)

Prescription only

Afrezza (insulin)

Prescription only
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
Controls mealtime blood sugar.

Afrezza (insulin) is effective at controlling blood sugar, but you can't use it if you've had lung problems or smoke.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • Afrezza (insulin) is as effective as other mealtime insulin products.
  • Starts working faster and stays in your body for a shorter time than other mealtime insulin products, so you're less likely to have severely low blood sugar.
  • If you don't like needles, Afrezza (insulin) is a good alternative since you inhale it.
  • Safe to use in people 65 or older.
  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about ways to lower your copay, such as coupons.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Not recommended if you're a smoker or if you've smoked in the last 6 months.
  • Afrezza (insulin) only comes in 3 different strengths, so it can be inconvenient if you need a lot of insulin.
  • Not recommended in children under 18.
  • If you're pregnant, you'll need to talk to your doctor before you start Afrezza (insulin).
  • There is no generic available, and may not be covered right away by Medicare or other insurances.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Inhalation powder
Price
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Reviews
175 reviews so far
42%
saidit'sworth it
30%
saiditworked well
21%
saidit'sa big hassle

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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
6possible side effects
  • Cough
    28%
  • Throat pain or irritation
    6%
  • Headache
    5%
  • Worsening lung function test
    3%
  • Airway inflammation
    3%
  • Urinary tract infection
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Low blood sugar
    • Changes in diet and exercise
    • Drinking alcohol
    • Taking other medications for diabetes
    • Over age 65
    • Liver or kidney problems
  • Breathing problems
    • Asthma
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    • Other long term lung problems
  • Low blood potassium levels
    • Taking laxatives
    • Taking medications that increase urination
  • Worsening lung function
    • Smoking
    • Second-hand smoke
    • Indoor and outdoor pollution
    • Work-related fume and chemical exposure
  • Fluid buildup
    • Taking Avandia or Actos
  • Too much acid in the blood
    • Type 1 diabetes
    • Long periods of fasting
    • Alchohol abuse
    • History of pancreatitis
See more detailed risks and warnings