What are the side effects for Actos and Onglyza?

Dr. William Sullivan


Actos(pioglitazone) is a thiazolidinedione(TZD) medication that can be useful in controlling blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes. However, Actos does have a number of side effects that can limit its use. Side effects associated with Actos include fluid retention (leg swelling), weight gain, and increased risk for heart failure (in patients who have a predisposition for heart failure). There have also been reports of increased headaches and upper respiratory infections with Actos use. Over the past few years, there have been reports of increased risk of fractures (in females) and possible increased risk of bladder cancer. Many of the side effects of Actos are dose-related and seen primarily at the higher dosage (45 mg). Despite these possible side effects, Actos can be a valuable medication in controlling blood glucose levels. Talk with your healthcare provider about the side effects of Actos and about treatment options. Onglyza(saxagliptin) is a member of the DPP-IV inhibitor medication class used to treat type 2 diabetes. Other members of this class include Januvia (sitagliptin) and Tradjenta (linagliptin). The side effects of Onglyza include headache, leg edema, and low blood glucose (when used with sulfonylurea medications). Also, there have rare reports of hives and facial swelling with Onglyza. Again, talk with your healthcare provider about best treatment options for you.