Compare Onglyza vs. Actos

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

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Onglyza (saxagliptin)

Prescription only

Actos (pioglitazone)

Prescription only
Lowers blood sugar.

Onglyza (saxagliptin) can cause heart failure unlike other medicines that work just like it.

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
  • DRUG-NAME is an oral blood sugar lowering medicine. It's a good option if you don't like injections.
  • Does not cause weight gain.
  • May be a good option for those with bad liver function.
  • Does not cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) when taken by itself.
  • 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
  • Typically not first-choice treatment for diabetes.
  • Only lowers A1C (average blood sugar over time) by ~0.5%.
  • Risk for heart failure has not been seen in other medicines that work just like it.
  • May be more expensive than other anti-diabetic medicines.
  • 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
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
Not enough review data.Leave a review
175 reviews so far
42%
saidit'sworth it
30%
saiditworked well
21%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Onglyza (saxagliptin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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
  • inflammation of the pancreas
    • Alcoholism
    • Elevated triglycerides
    • History of pancreatitis
    • Gallstones
  • Heart failure
    • History of heart failure
    • Bad kidney function
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
    • Alcohol
    • Unexpected changes in diet
    • Changes in amount of exercise
    • Taking other anti-diabetic medications
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Severe joint pain
  • Fluid-filled blisters on the skin (bullous pemphigoid)
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