Glucotrol

Pronunciation

Generic Name: glipizide (GLIP i zide)
Brand Names: GlipiZIDE XL, Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL

What is Glucotrol?

Glucotrol (glipizide) is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels. This medication helps your pancreas produce insulin.

Glucotrol is used together with diet and exercise to treat type 2 diabetes.

Glucotrol may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

Do not use Glucotrol if you are allergic to glipizide, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis. Call your doctor for treatment with insulin.

Before taking Glucotrol, 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.

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Take care not to let your blood sugar get too low. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can occur if you skip a meal, exercise too long, drink alcohol, or are under stress. Symptoms include headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, irritability, or trouble concentrating. Carry hard candy or glucose tablets with you in case you have low blood sugar. Other sugar sources include orange juice and milk. Be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.

Also watch for signs of blood sugar that is too high (hyperglycemia). These symptoms include increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, and weight loss. Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need to adjust your Glucotrol dose.

Glucotrol 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

Do not use Glucotrol 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 you can safely take Glucotrol, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease;

  • 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 treating your diabetes with Glucotrol.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Glucotrol 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 Glucotrol. It is not known whether glipizide passes into breast milk or if it could be harmful to a nursing baby. Do not take Glucotrol without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

How should I take Glucotrol?

Take Glucotrol exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Take Glucotrol 30 minutes before a meal. If you take Glucotrol once daily, take it 30 minutes before breakfast.

Glucotrol XL should be taken with breakfast.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole. Breaking the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

Glucotrol XL tablets 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.

Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor's office. Visit your doctor regularly.

Know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and how to recognize them: headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, irritability, or trouble concentrating.

Always keep a source of sugar available in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar. Sugar sources include orange juice, glucose gel, candy, or milk. If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use an injection of glucagon. Your doctor can give you a prescription for a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to give the injection.

Also watch for signs of blood sugar that is too high (hyperglycemia). These symptoms include increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, and weight loss.

Check your blood sugar carefully during a time of stress or illness, if you travel, exercise more than usual, drink alcohol, or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your dose needs may also change.

Your doctor may want you to stop taking Glucotrol for a short time if you become ill, have a fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency.

Ask your doctor how to adjust your Glucotrol dose if needed. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.

Glucotrol 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.

Store Glucotrol 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 Glucotrol 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 Glucotrol 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?

Avoid drinking alcohol while takuing Glucotrol. It lowers blood sugar and may interfere with your diabetes treatment.

Glucotrol side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Glucotrol: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop taking Glucotrol and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • 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.

Less serious Glucotrol side effects may include:

  • mild nausea;

  • diarrhea, constipation;

  • 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)

What other drugs will affect Glucotrol?

You may be more likely to have hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) if you are taking Glucotrol with other drugs that raise blood sugar, such as:

  • isoniazid;

  • diuretics (water pills);

  • steroids (prednisone and others);

  • phenothiazines (Compazine and others);

  • thyroid medicine (Synthroid and others);

  • birth control pills and other hormones;

  • seizure medicines (Dilantin and others);

  • niacin (Advicor, Niaspan, Niacor, Simcor, Slo-Niacin, and others);

  • diet pills, medicines to treat asthma, colds or allergies; and

  • heart or blood pressure medication such as diltiazem (Cartia, Cardizem), nifedipine (Nifedical, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan), and others.

You may be more likely to have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if you are taking Glucotrol with other drugs that lower blood sugar, such as:

  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs);
  • aspirin or other salicylates (including Pepto-Bismol);

  • sulfa drugs (Bactrim and others);

  • a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI);

  • beta-blockers (Tenormin and others);

  • exenatide (Byetta);

  • fluconazole (Diflucan);

  • probenecid (Benemid);

  • a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven and others); and

  • other oral diabetes medications, especially acarbose (Precose), metformin (Glucophage), miglitol (Glyset), pioglitazone (Actos), or rosiglitazone (Avandia).

These lists are not complete and there are many other medicines that can increase or decrease the effects of Glucotrol on lowering your blood sugar. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Glucotrol.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 8.02. Revision Date: 2011-11-21, 3:47:53 PM.

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