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Glipizide

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

Medically reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD Last updated on Jan 11, 2019.

What is glipizide?

See also: Basaglar

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 improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Glipizide is not for treating type 1 diabetes.

Important Information

You should not use glipizide if you have diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to glipizide, or if you have diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment).

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • chronic diarrhea, or a blockage in your intestines; or

  • an enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD).

Follow your doctor's instructions about using this medicine if you are pregnant. Blood sugar control is very important during pregnancy, and your dose needs may be different during each trimester. You should not take glipizide during the last 2 weeks of pregnancy. Agents other than glipizide are currently recommended to treat diabetes in pregnant women.

It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

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. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take the regular tablet 30 minutes before your first meal of the day.

Take the glipizide extended-release tablet with your first meal of the day.

Swallow the tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.

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

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can happen to anyone who has diabetes. Symptoms include headache, hunger, sweating, irritability, dizziness, nausea, fast heart rate, and feeling anxious or shaky. To quickly treat low blood sugar, always keep a fast-acting source of sugar with you such as fruit juice, hard candy, crackers, raisins, or non-diet soda.

Your doctor can prescribe a glucagon emergency injection kit to use in case you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink. Be sure your family and close friends know how to give you this injection in an emergency.

Also watch for signs of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) such as increased thirst or urination, blurred vision, headache, and tiredness.

Blood sugar levels can be affected by stress, illness, surgery, exercise, alcohol use, or skipping meals. Ask your doctor before changing your dose or medication schedule.

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.

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

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take your dose as soon as you can, but only if you are getting ready to eat a meal. If you skip a meal, skip the missed dose and wait until your next meal. Do not take two doses at one time.

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 can cause side effects.

Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how this medicine will affect you.

Glipizide side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have 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 symptoms of low blood sugar:

  • headache, irritability

  • sweating, fast heart rate;

  • dizziness, nausea; or

  • hunger, feeling anxious or shaky.

Common glipizide side effects may include:

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.

What other drugs will affect glipizide?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Many drugs can interact with glipizide. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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