Compare metformin vs. Actos

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

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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.

3.7/ 5 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.

3.1/ 5 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
938 reviews so far
65%
saidit'sworth it
46%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Glucophage (metformin)?

Leave a review
175 reviews so far
42%
saidit'sworth it
30%
saiditworked well
21%
saidit'sa big 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
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
  • Excess lactic acid in the blood
    • Kidney problems
    • Liver problems
    • Congestive heart failure
    • Using contrast dye for procedures
    • Surgery
    • Alcohol use
  • Low vitamin B12 levels
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