Tolbutamide Side Effects
Some side effects of tolbutamide 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 tolbutamide: oral tablet
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction while taking tolbutamide: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is the most common side effect of tolbutamide. Symptoms include headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremor, irritability, trouble concentrating, rapid breathing, fast heartbeat, fainting, or seizure (severe hypoglycemia can be fatal). Carry hard candy or glucose tablets with you in case you have low blood sugar.
Stop taking tolbutamide and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, fever, confusion; or
memory problems, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady, or hallucinations.
Less serious side effects of tolbutamide may include:
mild nausea, heartburn, full feeling;
unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth; 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.
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to tolbutamide: intravenous powder for injection, oral tablet
Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea, epigastric fullness, heartburn, and taste alterations.
Hepatic side effects have rarely included cholestatic jaundice. Tolbutamide should be discontinued if this occurs.
Dermatologic side effects have included pruritus, erythema, urticaria, and morbilliform or maculopapular eruptions. Photosensitivity and porphyria cutanea tarda have been reported with the use on sulfonylureas.
Hematological side effects have included leukopenia, agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia, hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia, and pancytopenia.
Metabolic side effects have included hepatic porphyria and disulfiram-like reactions.
Endocrine side effects have included hyponatremia and the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH) secretion.
Nervous system side effects have included headache.
Local side effects have included pain and/or a burning sensation at the injection site. Thrombophlebitis with thrombosis of the injected vein has also been reported.
More tolbutamide resources
- tolbutamide Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
- tolbutamide MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- tolbutamide Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Tolbutamide Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Tolbutamide Monograph (AHFS DI)
- Tolbutamide Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
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