Glucotrol Side Effects

Generic Name: glipizide

Note: This document contains side effect information about glipizide. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Glucotrol.

Some side effects of Glucotrol may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

For the Consumer

Applies to glipizide: oral tablet, oral tablet extended release

Along with its needed effects, glipizide (the active ingredient contained in Glucotrol) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking glipizide:

Less common
  • Anxiety
  • blurred vision
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • chills
  • cold sweats
  • coma
  • confusion
  • cool, pale skin
  • depression
  • difficulty with moving
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • fast heartbeat
  • headache
  • increased hunger
  • joint pain
  • leg cramps
  • muscle aching or cramping
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • nightmares
  • pain in the joints
  • problems in urination or increase in the amount of urine
  • seizures
  • shakiness
  • slurred speech
  • sweating
  • swollen joints
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • bloating
  • bloody or black, tarry stools
  • body aches or pain
  • burning, dry, or itching eyes
  • clay-colored stools
  • congestion
  • constipation
  • cough
  • dark urine
  • decreased vision or other changes in vision
  • diarrhea
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • difficult or painful urination
  • dryness or soreness of the throat
  • excessive tearing
  • fainting
  • fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • feeling of warmth
  • fever
  • heartburn
  • hoarseness
  • indigestion
  • itching
  • loss of appetite
  • pain in the eye
  • pounding in the ears
  • rash
  • redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally, upper chest
  • redness, pain, or swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
  • runny nose
  • severe stomach pain
  • shortness of breath
  • tender, swollen glands in the neck
  • tightness in the chest
  • trouble in swallowing
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • voice changes
  • vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  • wheezing
  • yellow eyes or skin
Incidence not known
  • Agitation
  • back or leg pains
  • bleeding gums
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • chest pain
  • convulsions
  • decreased urine output
  • fluid-filled skin blisters
  • general body swelling
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • high fever
  • hostility
  • increased thirst
  • irritability
  • lethargy
  • light-colored stools
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle twitching
  • nosebleeds
  • pinpoint red pots on the skin
  • rapid weight gain
  • sensitivity to the sun
  • skin thinness
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • stupor
  • swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

Some side effects of glipizide may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Indigestion
  • passing of gas
Less common
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • full feeling
  • pain
  • sleeplessness
  • sneezing
  • stuffy nose
  • trouble sleeping
  • unable to sleep
  • Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • excessive muscle tone
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • flushing or redness of the skin
  • headache, severe and throbbing
  • hives or welts
  • inability to have or keep an erection
  • loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • mood or mental changes
  • muscle stiffness
  • muscle tension or tightness
  • sensation of spinning
  • skin rash, encrusted, scaly, and oozing
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • unusually warm skin
  • walking in unusual manner
  • weight loss
Incidence not known
  • Increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
  • severe sunburn

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to glipizide: compounding powder, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release


Glipizide (the active ingredient contained in Glucotrol) has been usually well tolerated. Side effects were reported in 3% to 12% of patients in clinical trials. These effects were serious enough to result in discontinuation of therapy in only 0.3% to 3% of patients.


Hypoglycemia, an extension of glipizide (the active ingredient contained in Glucotrol) s pharmacologic effects, may be severe, protracted, refractory to glucose infusion, and, in some cases, may require diazoxide. Hypoglycemia may present as coma or disturbed consciousness. Other signs of hypoglycemia include tachycardia, tremors, and increased sweating. In one review of 19 spontaneously reported cases, the mean dose of glipizide associated with hypoglycemia was 10 mg per day. The mean age in these cases was 75 years. Two patients died, although their cases were complicated and the degree to which hypoglycemia contributed to their deaths cannot be ascertained.

Patients with renal dysfunction, liver disease, or adrenal or pituitary insufficiency may be at increased risk for hypoglycemia as are those who are elderly, debilitated, or malnourished. In addition, acute illness, lack of adherence to diet, ethanol ingestion, or strenuous exercise may precipitate hypoglycemia.

Metabolic side effects have included hypoglycemia, an extension of glipizide's pharmacologic effects. Hypoglycemia has been be severe and protracted in some cases. Fatalities have been reported. Hyponatremia, disulfiram-like reactions, and coproporphyria have also been reported. Elderly patients may be at increased risk for hypoglycemia based on case reviews demonstrating an increased proportion of severe hypoglycemic events in patients aged 60 years and older.


Hematologic side effects have included rare reports of leukopenia, agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia, hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia, and pancytopenia.


Hepatic side effects have included rare reports of mild elevations in alkaline phosphatase, SGOT, and SGPT. The manufacturer has noted one case of jaundice. Cholestatic jaundice and hepatitis have been reported with other sulfonylureas. Frequent monitoring of liver function tests is recommended during the initiation of glipizide (the active ingredient contained in Glucotrol) therapy in patients with liver dysfunction.


Dermatologic side effects have included rash in 0.5% to 1.4% of patients. Allergic skin reactions have occurred as well and included erythema, morbilliform or maculopapular eruptions, urticaria, pruritus, and eczema. Photosensitivity has been reported with other sulfonylureas.


Gastrointestinal side effects have occurred in up to 3.7% of patients in clinical trials and included nausea, heartburn, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain. Gastrointestinal side effects have tended to be mild and transient. In postmarketing experience of the extended release product, the additional side effects of abdominal pain has been reported.

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. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. 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 substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.