Compare Byetta vs. Actos

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

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Byetta (Exenatide)

Prescription only

Actos (pioglitazone)

Prescription only
Lowers blood sugar.

Byetta (Exenatide) can lower your blood sugars in addition to metformin. It does not increase your appetite unlike some other anti-diabetics, but must be given by injection and usually causes upset stomach.

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
Upsides
  • Can lower your A1c (average blood sugar over time) by 1%.
  • Not as likely to cause very low blood sugar as glyburine or insulin.
  • Does not increase your appetite like other anti-diabetic medicines.
  • Pen is dialed to a single dose for easy injections.
  • 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
  • Byetta (Exenatide) must be injected twice a day. Other medicines like it can be injected once daily or even weekly.
  • It commonly causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or indigestion.
  • Can affect how well your antibiotics and birth control pills work. Take them no sooner than one hour after your injections.
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Injection
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
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175 reviews so far
42%
saidit'sworth it
30%
saiditworked well
21%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
3possible side effects
  • Nausea
    8%
  • Vomiting
    4%
  • Upset stomach
    3%
See more detailed 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
Risks and risk factors
  • Loss of medication effectiveness
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney problems
    • Severe renal impairment
    • End-stage renal disease
  • Serious stomach problems
    • Severe gastrointestinal disease
    • Gastroparesis
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • 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