Chlorpropamide

Generic Name: chlorpropamide (klor-PROE-pa-mide)
Brand Name: Diabinese

Chlorpropamide is used for:

Treating type 2 diabetes in patients who cannot control blood sugar levels by diet and exercise alone. It is used along with diet and exercise. It may be used alone or with other antidiabetic medicines.

Chlorpropamide is a sulfonylurea antidiabetic medicine. It works by causing the pancreas to release insulin, which helps to lower blood sugar.

Do NOT use chlorpropamide if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in chlorpropamide
  • you have certain severe problems associated with diabetes (eg, diabetic ketoacidosis, diabetic coma)
  • you have type 1 diabetes
  • you have severe liver, kidney, thyroid, or endocrine problems
  • you have moderate to severe burns or very high blood acid levels (acidosis)
  • you are pregnant and are within 1 month of the expected delivery date

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using chlorpropamide:

Some medical conditions may interact with chlorpropamide. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, a severe rash, hives, breathing difficulties, dizziness) to any other sulfonamide medicine, such as acetazolamide, celecoxib, certain diuretics (eg, hydrochlorothiazide), glipizide, probenecid, sulfamethoxazole, valdecoxib, or zonisamide
  • if you have a history of liver, kidney, thyroid, or heart problems
  • if you have stomach or bowel problems (eg, stomach or bowel blockage, stomach paralysis), you drink alcohol, or you have had poor nutrition
  • if you have very poor health, a high fever, a severe infection, severe diarrhea, or high blood acid levels, or you have had a severe injury
  • if you have a history of certain blood problems (eg, porphyria), certain hormonal problems (eg, adrenal or pituitary problems, syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone [SIADH]), or low blood sodium levels
  • if you have a condition called glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
  • if you will be having surgery

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with chlorpropamide. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Beta-blockers (eg, propranolol) because the risk of low blood sugar may be increased. They may also hide certain signs of low blood sugar and make it more difficult to notice
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (eg, enalapril), anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), azole antifungals (eg, ketoconazole, miconazole), chloramphenicol, clofibrate, fenfluramine, insulin, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (eg, phenelzine), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen), phenylbutazone, probenecid, quinolone antibiotics (eg, ciprofloxacin), salicylates (eg, aspirin), sulfonamides (eg, sulfamethoxazole), or urinary acidifiers (eg, ammonium chloride) because the risk of low blood sugar may be increased
  • Calcium channel blockers (eg, diltiazem), corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), decongestants (eg, pseudoephedrine), diazoxide, diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide), estrogens, hormonal contraceptives (eg, birth control pills), isoniazid, niacin, phenothiazines (eg, promethazine), phenytoin, rifamycins (eg, rifampin), sympathomimetics (eg, albuterol, epinephrine, terbutaline), or thyroid supplements (eg, levothyroxine) because they may decrease chlorpropamide's effectiveness, resulting in high blood sugar
  • Gemfibrozil because blood sugar may be increased or decreased
  • Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by chlorpropamide

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if chlorpropamide may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use chlorpropamide:

Use chlorpropamide as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take chlorpropamide by mouth with breakfast or the first main meal of the day unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Chlorpropamide works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
  • Continue to take chlorpropamide even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of chlorpropamide, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use chlorpropamide.

Important safety information:

  • Chlorpropamide may cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, or lightheadedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use chlorpropamide with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are taking chlorpropamide. It may increase the risk of low blood sugar. Rarely, alcohol may interact with chlorpropamide and cause a serious reaction with symptoms such as flushing, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or stomach pain. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Carry an ID card at all times that says you have diabetes. Check your blood sugar levels as directed by your doctor. If they are often higher or lower than they should be and you take chlorpropamide exactly as prescribed, tell your doctor.
  • Proper diet, regular exercise, and regular blood sugar testing are important for best results with chlorpropamide. Follow the diet and exercise program given to you by your health care provider.
  • It may be harder to control your blood sugar during times of stress such as fever, infection, injury, or surgery. Talk with your doctor about how to control your blood sugar if any of these occur. Do not change the dose of your medicine without checking with your doctor.
  • Chlorpropamide may cause low blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar may make you anxious, sweaty, weak, dizzy, drowsy, or faint. It may also make your heart beat faster; make your vision change; give you a headache, chills, or tremors; or make you more hungry. It is a good idea to carry a reliable source of glucose (eg, tablets or gel) to treat low blood sugar. If this is not available, you should eat or drink a quick source of sugar like table sugar, honey, candy, orange juice, or non-diet soda. This will raise your blood sugar level quickly. Tell your doctor right away if this happens. To prevent low blood sugar, eat meals at the same time each day and do not skip meals.
  • Risk of low blood sugar may be increased by severe or prolonged exercise, drinking alcohol, or skipping meals.
  • Chlorpropamide is a sulfonylurea. It may increase the risk of death from heart disease. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of this or other therapies to treat your condition.
  • Chlorpropamide may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to chlorpropamide. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take chlorpropamide before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Lab tests, including fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C, may be performed while you use chlorpropamide. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use chlorpropamide with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially low blood sugar levels and low blood sodium levels.
  • Chlorpropamide should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using chlorpropamide while you are pregnant. Chlorpropamide should not be used for at least 1 month before the expected delivery date because it may cause low blood sugar in the baby. Chlorpropamide is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking chlorpropamide.

When used for long periods of time, chlorpropamide may not work as well. If your blood sugar has been under control and then becomes hard to manage, contact your doctor. Do not change the dose of your medicine without checking with your doctor.

Possible side effects of chlorpropamide:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Dizziness; headache; nausea.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); confusion; dark urine; fainting; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; irregular heartbeat; low blood sugar symptoms (eg, anxiety, drowsiness, fast heartbeat, lightheadedness, severe or persistent dizziness or headache, tremors, unusual sweating, weakness); severe or persistent blurred vision or other vision problems; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; yellowing of the eyes or skin.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include coma; confusion; fainting; fast heartbeat; lethargy; lightheadedness; seizures; severe dizziness or drowsiness; tremor; unusual sweating.

Proper storage of chlorpropamide:

Store chlorpropamide at room temperature, below 86 degrees F (30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep chlorpropamide out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about chlorpropamide, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Chlorpropamide is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take chlorpropamide or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about chlorpropamide. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to chlorpropamide. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using chlorpropamide.

Issue Date: December 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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