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Glipizide and metformin

Generic Name: glipizide and metformin (GLIP ih zyd and met FOR min)
Brand Name: Metaglip

Medically reviewed on July 16, 2018

What is glipizide and metformin?

Glipizide and metformin is a combination of two oral diabetes medicines that help control blood sugar levels.

Glipizide and metformin is used together with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes. glipizide and metformin is not for treating type 1 diabetes.

Glipizide and metformin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not use glipizide and metformin if you have severe kidney disease or diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment).

If you need to have any type of x-ray or CT scan using a dye that is injected into your veins, you will need to temporarily stop taking glipizide and metformin.

You may develop lactic acidosis, a dangerous build-up of lactic acid in your blood. Call your doctor or get emergency medical help if you have unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain, dizziness, feeling cold, or feeling very weak or tired.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use glipizide and metformin if you are allergic to glipizide or metformin, or if you have:

  • severe kidney disease; or

  • metabolic acidosis or diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment).

If you need to have any type of x-ray or CT scan using a dye that is injected into your veins, you will need to temporarily stop taking glipizide and metformin.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • kidney disease;

  • congestive heart failure, especially if you take digoxin (Lanoxin) or furosemide (Lasix);

  • a genetic enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency;

  • liver disease;

  • heart disease; or

  • if you are over 80 years old and have not recently had your kidney function checked.

You may develop lactic acidosis, a dangerous build-up of lactic acid in your blood. This may be more likely if you have other medical conditions, a severe infection, chronic alcoholism, or if you are 65 or older. Ask your doctor about your risk.

It is not known whether glipizide and metformin 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 medicine.

Metformin may stimulate ovulation in a premenopausal woman and may increase the risk of unintended pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about your risk.

You should not breast-feed while you are taking this medicine.

How should I take glipizide and metformin?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Take glipizide and metformin with meals.

Call your doctor if you are sick with vomiting, diarrhea, or a fever. These conditions can lead to severe dehydration, which could be dangerous while you are taking glipizide and metformin.

Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking glipizide and metformin.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can happen to everyone who has diabetes. Symptoms include headache, hunger, sweating, irritability, dizziness, nausea, and feeling 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.

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

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Your doctor may have you take extra vitamin B12 while you are taking glipizide and metformin. Take only the amount of vitamin B12 that your doctor has prescribed.

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.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose can cause severe hypoglycemia or lactic acidosis.

What should I avoid while taking glipizide and metformin?

Avoid drinking alcohol. It lowers blood sugar and may increase your risk of lactic acidosis.

If you also take colesevelam, avoid taking it within 4 hours after you take glipizide and metformin.

Glipizide and metformin side effects

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

Stop using glipizide and metformin and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • heart problems-- swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;

  • severe hypoglycemia--extreme weakness, blurred vision, sweating, trouble speaking, tremors, stomach pain, confusion, seizure; or

  • lactic acidosis--unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain, vomiting, irregular heart rate, dizziness, feeling cold, or feeling very weak or tired.

Common 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 and metformin dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Diabetes Type 2:

Doses provided as glipizide-metformin

-Initial Therapy in Patients with Inadequate Glycemic Control on Diet and Exercise Alone:
Starting dose: 2.5 mg-250 mg orally once a day
-Consider a starting dose of 2.5 mg-500 mg orally twice a day for patients with fasting blood glucose (FBG) between 280 and 320 mg/dL
Maintenance Dose: Increase in increments of 2.5 mg-500 mg per day every 2 weeks to the minimum effective dose to achieve adequate blood glucose control
Maximum Initial Dose: 10 mg-1000 mg or 10 mg-2000 mg per day in divided doses

-Patients with Inadequate Glycemic Control on a Glipizide (or another Sulfonylurea) and /or Metformin:
Initial dose: 2.5 mg-500 mg or 5 mg-500 mg orally twice a day
Maintenance Dose: Increase in increments of no more than 5 mg-500 mg to the minimum effective dose to achieve adequate blood glucose control
Maximum Dose: 20 mg-2000 mg per day

Comments:
-Give with meals; initial doses should be conservative to avoid hypoglycemia largely due to glipizide and gastrointestinal side effects largely due to metformin.
-For patients who are switching to combination therapy, initial doses should not exceed the daily dose of glipizide (or equivalent sulfonylurea) and metformin already being taken; the decision to switch to the nearest equivalent dose should be based on clinical judgement.
-Monitor patients closely for signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia.

Use: As an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

What other drugs will affect glipizide and metformin?

Many drugs can affect glipizide and metformin, making this medicine less effective or increasing your risk of lactic acidosis. 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 this medication 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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