Medically reviewed on July 17, 2017.
What is glyburide and metformin?
Glyburide and metformin is a combination of two oral diabetes medicines that help control blood sugar levels.
Glyburide and metformin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Some people taking metformin develop a serious condition called lactic acidosis. Stop taking this medicine and get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms such as: muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, slow or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to glyburide or metformin, or:
severe kidney disease;
metabolic acidosis or diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment); or
if you are also using bosentan (to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension).
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 glyburide and metformin.
Some people taking metformin develop a serious condition called lactic acidosis. This may be more likely if you have liver or kidney disease, surgery, congestive heart failure, a heart attack or stroke, a severe infection, if you are 65 or older, if you are dehydrated, or if you drink a lot of alcohol. Talk with your doctor about your risk.
To make sure glyburide and metformin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
an enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD);
liver disease; or
heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.
It is not known whether glyburide 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.
It is not known whether this medicine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while taking glyburide and metformin.
How should I take glyburide and metformin?
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 glyburide and metformin with meals.
Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor's office.
Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking glyburide and metformin.
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.
Your doctor may have you take extra vitamin B12 while you are taking glyburide and metformin. Take only the amount of vitamin B12 that your doctor has prescribed.
Glyburide and metformin is only part of a treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, and special medical care. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember (be sure to take the medicine with food). 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.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia.
Symptoms of severe hypoglycemia include extreme weakness, confusion, tremors, sweating, fast heart rate, trouble speaking, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing, fainting, and seizure (convulsions).
What should I avoid while taking glyburide 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 glyburide and metformin.
Glyburide 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 this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:
shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain; or
symptoms of lactic acidosis--muscle pain or weakness, numbness or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, slow or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired.
Common side effects may include:
low blood sugar;
nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach; or
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)
What other drugs will affect glyburide and metformin?
There are many other medicines that can increase or decrease the effects of glyburide and metformin on lowering your blood sugar. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
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.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 10.01.
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