Generic Name: glyburide and metformin (GLYE bure ide and met FOR min)
Brand Name: Glucovance
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).
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)
Glyburide and metformin dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Diabetes Type 2:
Doses provided as glyburide-metformin
-As Initial Therapy in Patients with Inadequate Glycemic Control on Diet and Exercise Alone:
Starting dose: 1.25 mg-250 mg orally once a day
-Consider a starting dose of 1.25 mg-250 mg orally twice a day for patients with fasting blood glucose (FBG) greater than 200 mg/dL or HbA1c greater than 9%
Maintenance Dose: Increase in increments of 1.25 mg-250 mg per day every 2 weeks up to the minimum effective dose to achieve glycemic control
Maximum Initial Dose: 10 mg-2000 mg per day
-Patients with Inadequate Glycemic Control on a Glyburide (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
-Give with meals; 5 mg-500 mg dose should not be used as initial therapy due to an increased risk of hypoglycemia; initial doses should be conservative to avoid hypoglycemia largely due to glyburide 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 glyburide (or equivalent sulfonylurea) and metformin already being taken; the decision to switch to the nearest equivalent dose should be based on clinical judgement.
-Addition of thiazolidinedione may be appropriate for patients not adequately controlled on glyburide-metformin; in patients experiencing hypoglycemia, consider reducing the dose of the glyburide component.
-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 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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 10.01.
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- Drug class: antidiabetic combinations
Other brands: Glucovance
- Glyburide and Metformin (FDA)
- Glyburide and Metformin Tablets (FDA)
- Glyburide and Metformin (Wolters Kluwer)