chlorpropamide

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

What is chlorpropamide?

Chlorpropamide is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels by helping your pancreas produce insulin.

Chlorpropamide is used together with diet and exercise to treat type 2 diabetes. Chlorpropamide is sometimes used in combination with other diabetes medicines.

Chlorpropamide should not be used by itself to treat type 1 diabetes.

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

What is the most important information I should know about chlorpropamide?

You should not use chlorpropamide if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis. Call your doctor for treatment with insulin.

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

What should I discuss with my doctor before taking chlorpropamide?

You should not use chlorpropamide if you are allergic to it, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).

To make sure chlorpropamide is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease;

  • 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 chlorpropamide.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether chlorpropamide will harm an unborn baby. Similar diabetes medicines have caused severe hypoglycemia in newborn babies whose mothers had used the medicine near the time of delivery. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using chlorpropamide.

Chlorpropamide can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking chlorpropamide.

How should I take chlorpropamide?

Chlorpropamide is usually taken once per day with breakfast. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

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.

Chlorpropamide 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.

Use chlorpropamide regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember (take the medicine with food if your doctor instructs you to). 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.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. A chlorpropamide overdose can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia.

Symptoms of severe hypoglycemia include extreme weakness, confusion, tremors, sweating, fast heart rate, trouble speaking, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing, fainting, and seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking chlorpropamide?

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

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Chlorpropamide can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Chlorpropamide side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking chlorpropamide and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • easy bruising or bleeding, pale skin, fever, unusual weakness;

  • trouble concentrating, memory problems, hallucinations;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • throbbing headache, sweating, severe nausea, trouble breathing, fast or pounding heartbeats, blurred vision, spinning sensation;

  • liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • low blood sugar--headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, confusion, irritability, dizziness, fast heart rate, or feeling jittery;

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; or

  • mild hunger or loss of appetite.

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)

Chlorpropamide dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Diabetes Type 2:

Initial dose: 250 mg orally once a day with breakfast.
Maintenance dose: 100 to 500 mg orally in 1 or 2 divided doses. Five to seven days after the initial therapy, the blood level of chlorpropamide reaches a plateau. Dosage may subsequently be adjusted upward or downward by increments of not more than 50 to 125 mg at intervals of three to five days to obtain optimal control. More frequent adjustments are usually undesirable.

Usual Geriatric Dose for Diabetes Type 2:

Initial dose: 100 to 125 mg orally once a day with breakfast.

What other drugs will affect chlorpropamide?

Many other medicines can increase or decrease the effects of chlorpropamide on lowering your blood sugar. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about chlorpropamide.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. 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. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.03. Revision Date: 2014-03-28, 11:31:26 AM.

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