Skip to Content

Glipizide

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

Medically reviewed on February 6, 2018

What is glipizide?

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 are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).

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 with insulin).

To make sure glipizide is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • liver or 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;

  • heart disease; or

  • if you are malnourished.

It is not known whether glipizide 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 this medication.

It is not known whether glipizide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

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 glipizide 30 minutes before a meal. If you take this medicine once daily, take it 30 minutes before breakfast.

Glipizide extended-release (Glucotrol XL) should be taken with breakfast.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole.

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

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can happen to everyone 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.

Glipizide is only part of a complete treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, regular blood sugar testing, and special medical care. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

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

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

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 this medicine 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 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.

See also: Glipizide and alcohol (in more detail)

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Glipizide dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Diabetes Type 2:

Immediate release:
Initial dose: 5 mg orally once a day, 30 minutes before breakfast
Maintenance dose: Up to 40 mg in divided doses 30 minutes before a meal of adequate caloric content. Doses may be increased in intervals of 2.5 to 5 mg a day according to blood glucose response.
Maximum single dose: 15 mg
Maximum daily dose: 40 mg
Comments:
-At least several days should elapse between titration steps.
-If response to a single dose is not satisfactory, dividing that dose may prove effective.

Extended Release:
Initial dose: 5 mg orally once a day, 30 minutes before breakfast
Maintenance dose: 5 to 10 mg orally once a day
Maximum daily dose: 20 mg
Patients receiving immediate release may be switched safely to extended release tablets once-a-day at the nearest equivalent total daily dose, or titrate to the appropriate extended release dose starting with 5 mg once daily.
Combination use:
-When adding other blood-glucose-lowering agents to the extended release tablets, the agent should be initiated at the lowest recommended dose. Observe for hypoglycemia.
-When adding extended release tablets to other blood-glucose-lowering agents, glipizide extended release can be initiated at 5 mg. Start at a lower dose in patients that are more sensitive to hypoglycemia.

When transferring patients from insulin to glipizide, the following general guidelines should be considered:
-For patients with daily insulin doses of 20 units or less: Discontinue insulin and begin glipizide at usual dosages.
-For patients with daily insulin doses greater than 20 units: Insulin dose should be reduced by 50% and glipizide therapy may begin at usual dosages.
Comments:
-Several days should elapse between titration steps.
-Subsequent reductions in insulin dosage should depend on individual patient response.
-During the insulin withdrawal period, the patient should test urine samples for sugar and ketone bodies at least three times daily.
-Some patients receiving greater than 40 units of insulin daily may need to consider hospitalization during the transition period.

Patients Receiving Other Oral Hypoglycemic Agents:
-When transferring from longer half-life sulfonylureas: Observe for 1 to 2 weeks for hypoglycemia.
-Glipizide extended release coadministered with colesevelam: Glipizide should be administered at least 4 hours prior to colesevelam.

Use: Adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Usual Geriatric Dose for Diabetes Type 2:

Initial dose: 2.5 mg orally once a day 30 minutes before breakfast

Comments:
-Maintenance dosing should be conservative to avoid hypoglycemic reactions.
-Doses can be adjusted with caution taking into account the degree of hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and the concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

Use: Adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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 in this medication guide. 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.

Hide