Generic Name: glipizide (GLIP i zide)
Brand Names: GlipiZIDE XL, Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL
What is glipizide?
Glipizide is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels by helping your pancreas produce insulin.
Glipizide is used together with diet and exercise to treat type 2 diabetes.
Glipizide may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use glipizide if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).
Before taking glipizide, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, chronic diarrhea or a blockage in your intestines, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD), a disorder of your pituitary or adrenal glands, a history of heart disease, or if you are malnourished.
Glipizide is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, and testing your blood sugar. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. Changing any of these factors can affect your blood sugar levels.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to glipizide, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).
To make sure glipizide is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
liver or kidney disease;
chronic diarrhea or a blockage in your intestines;
an enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD);
a disorder of your pituitary or adrenal glands;
a history of heart disease; or
if you are malnourished.
Certain oral diabetes medications may increase your risk of serious heart problems. However, not treating your diabetes can damage your heart and other organs. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking glipizide.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether glipizide will harm an unborn baby. Similar diabetes medications have caused severe hypoglycemia in newborn babies whose mothers had used the medication near the time of delivery. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
It is not known whether glipizide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take glipizide?
Take glipizide exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take glipizide 30 minutes before a meal. If you take this medicine once daily, take it 30 minutes before breakfast.
Glipizide extended-release (Glucotrol XL) should be taken with breakfast.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can happen to everyone who has diabetes. Symptoms include headache, hunger, sweating, confusion, irritability, dizziness, or feeling shaky. Always keep a source of sugar with you in case you have low blood sugar. Sugar sources include fruit juice, hard candy, crackers, raisins, and non-diet soda. Be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.
If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use a glucagon injection. Your doctor can prescribe a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to use it.
Also watch for signs of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) such as increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, and weight loss.
Check your blood sugar carefully during times of stress, travel, illness, surgery or medical emergency, vigorous exercise, or if you drink alcohol or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your dose needs may also change. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.
Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor's office.
Some forms of glipizide are made with a shell that is not absorbed or melted in the body. Part of the tablet shell may appear in your stool. This is a normal side effect and will not make the medication less effective.
Glipizide is only part of a treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, blood sugar testing, and special medical care. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose 30 minutes before your next meal, then return to your regular schedule. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Use glipizide regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. A glipizide overdose can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia.
Symptoms of severe hypoglycemia include extreme weakness, blurred vision, sweating, trouble speaking, tremors, stomach pain, confusion, and seizure (convulsions).
What should I avoid while taking glipizide?
Avoid drinking alcohol. It lowers blood sugar and may interfere with your diabetes treatment.
If you also take colesevelam, avoid taking it within 4 hours after you take glipizide.
Glipizide side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to glipizide: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), feeling tired or short of breath, rapid heart rate;
nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
pale skin, fever, confusion; or
throbbing headache, severe nausea and vomiting, fast or pounding heartbeats, sweating or thirst, feeling like you might pass out.
Common glipizide side effects may include:
dizziness, drowsiness; or
skin rash, redness, or itching.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Glipizide dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Diabetes Type 2:
Initial dose: 5 mg (immediate or sustained-release) orally once a day, 30 minutes before breakfast.
Maintenance dose: 2.5 to 30 mg (immediate-release) orally in 1 or 2 divided doses or 5 to 20 mg (sustained-release) orally in 1 or 2 divided doses.
Usual Geriatric Dose for Diabetes Type 2:
Initial dose: 2.5 to 5 mg orally once a day. Doses may be increased in 1 or 2 week intervals in 2.5 to 5 mg/day increments.
What other drugs will affect glipizide?
You may be more likely to have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if you take glipizide with other drugs that can lower blood sugar, such as:
aspirin or other salicylates (including Pepto Bismol);
a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven);
sulfa drugs (Bactrim, SMZ-TMP, and others);
a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI); or
insulin or other oral diabetes medications.
This list is not complete, and many other medicines can increase or decrease the effects of glipizide on lowering your blood sugar. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with glipizide. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More about glipizide
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about glipizide.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use glipizide only for the indication prescribed.
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