Actos

(pioglitazone)

3.1/ 5 average rating with 175 reviewsforActos
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Lowers blood sugar.

Skip Upsides & Downsides section. Skip to side effects section.

Our bottom line

Actos (pioglitazone) can improve blood sugar control but is not a top choice since it has a lot of side effects.

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    $9.00
Quick facts about Actos
  • Drug class: Endocrine
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (pioglitazone)

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.
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What to expect from Actos, on one page

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People’s experience with Actos

175reviews so far. What do you think?

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.
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What to expect from Actos, on one page

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How it works

Actos (pioglitazone) is a thiazolidinedione that improves your body's ability to use insulin to lower your blood sugar.

Quick facts about Actos
  • Drug class: Endocrine
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (pioglitazone)

Used for

Dosage forms

  • Pill
People’s experience with Actos

175reviews so far. What do you think?

Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Actos (pioglitazone) for Type 2 diabetes

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  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Possible side effects
  • Headache
  • Colds and flu
  • Low blood sugar
  • Swelling
  • Heart failure
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Side effect rates for Actos (pioglitazone)

From 865 clinical trials of Actos when taken for type 2 diabetes
  • Low blood sugar
    27%27%
    19%19%
  • Swelling
    27%27%
    16%16%
  • Colds and flu
    13%13%
    9%9%
  • Headache
    9%9%
    7%7%
  • Heart failure
    8%8%
    6%6%
  • Sinus infection
    6%6%
    5%5%
  • Back pain
    6%6%
    5%5%
  • Pain in arms and legs
    6%6%
    6%6%
  • Muscle pain
    5%5%
    3%3%
  • Sore throat
    5%5%
    1%1%
  • Chest pain
    5%5%
    5%5%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Actos.

Actos (pioglitazone)
Placebo

People taking Actos felt side effect more

People taking Actos felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Actos (pioglitazone)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Heart failure

    Actos (pioglitazone) can cause fluid buildup that can cause or worsen heart failure. If you have advanced heart failure, talk to your doctor since you shouldn't use Actos (pioglitazone). Your doctor will check your heart regularly while you're taking Actos (pioglitazone).

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Pharmacist Q&A

Actos (pioglitazone) questions for

Frequently Asked Questions

This medication treats type 2 diabetes in adults.

Who is this drug for?

This medication treats type 2 diabetes in adults.

Common concerns from people taking Actos (pioglitazone)

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Food
  • Take once a day with or without food.
Kidneys and liver
  • If you've had liver problems or damage in the past, talk to your doctor before starting Actos (pioglitazone), since there's a small chance that it can hurt your liver. Tell your doctor about any stomach pain that don't go away, dark urine, or yellowing of eyes/skin. Your doctor will check your liver regularly.
  • Not worth it
    Low hassle
    Reviewed Actoson 8/20/2017terrible back and kidney pains
    75
    Man
    A couple weeks
    Type 2 diabetes
Weight
  • Can cause weight gain, headache, and swelling from fluid build-up.
  • Can cause weight gain.
  • Not sure
    Low hassle
    Reviewed ActosHad weight gain without changing eating habits nor exercise habits
    68
    Woman
  • Not sure
    Big hassle
    Reviewed Actoson 8/3/2017causes weight gain and frequent trips to bathroom; sometimes you have accidents
    64
    Woman
    Two years or more
    Type 2 diabetes