Sulfonylureas (Glimepiride, Glipizide, Glyburide)
Sulfonylureas are medicines used in patients with Type 2 Diabetes. They are used along with a "healthy eating" meal plan and exercise. They may also be used with other diabetes medicines.
Sulfonylureas lower blood sugar by helping the pancreas make more insulin.
How medications are supplied
- 1mg, 2mg, and 4mg tablets
- 2.5mg, 5mg, and 10mg tablets
Glucotrol XL® (glipizide extended release)
- 2.5mg, 5mg, and 10mg tablets
Diabeta®, Micronase® (glyburide)
- 1.25mg, 2.5mg, or 5mg tablets
You will take your sulfonylurea one or two times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription bottle.
Do not take this medicine if you will not eat within thirty minutes. Your blood sugar can go too low without food.
Glipizide extended release tablets must be swallowed whole. Never crush or chew them.
You may see part of the glipizide extended release tablet in your stool. This is the outer shell of the tablet. Do not take an extra dose if this happens.
Do not stop taking this medicine on your own. Keep taking it even if you feel well. Keep taking it if your blood sugars improve.
If you miss a dose, take it with food as soon as you can. Skip your dose if it is more than three hours late. Do not take two doses at the same time.
What you should know before you start a Sulfonylurea
Your doctor will order lab tests while you are taking this medicine. The lab tests may include: kidney function, fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c, and liver function. Lab tests help monitor your diabetes. Lab tests help check for side effects of the medicine.
Keep all doctor and lab appointments.
Wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace.
Let your doctor know if:
- You have a sulfa (sulfonamide) allergy
- You have glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
- You are pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant, or breastfeeding.
- You are having surgery or a dental procedure.
It is best to avoid alcohol when taking this medicine. Talk to your health care team if you have questions about using alcohol.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about your medicines. This includes prescription and over the counter medicines. Also tell them about herbal and vitamin products. Tell them about all of your health problems.
The most common side effect of this medicine is low blood sugar.
Before you start this medicine you should talk to your health care team about low blood sugar. You should learn the signs of low blood sugar. You should learn how to treat it.
The most common signs of low blood sugar are:
- Feeling sleepy
- Feeling weak
- Fast heartbeat
This medicine may also cause weight gain, upset stomach, or headache.
Call your doctor if:
- If you have signs of an allergic reaction; this could be a rash, wheezing or tightness in the chest. Other signs could be swollen mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat.
- You have very bad stomach pain
- You have dark urine or yellow skin or eyes
- If you have a severe skin reaction or peeling skin
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 10/22/2013
Copyright © 07/10/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7525
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