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Generic Name: tolbutamide (tole BUE ta mide)
Brand Name: Orinase
Medically reviewed: October 16, 2017
What is Orinase?
Orinase is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels. This medication helps your pancreas produce insulin.
Orinase is used together with diet and exercise to treat type 2 diabetes. Other diabetes medicines are sometimes used in combination with this medicine if needed.
Orinase should not be used by itself to treat type 1 diabetes.
Orinase may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to Orinase, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis. Call your doctor for treatment with insulin.
To make sure Orinase is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a disorder of your pituitary or adrenal glands;
an enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD);
a history of heart disease; or
if you are malnourished.
Certain oral diabetes medications may increase your risk of serious heart problems. However, not treating your diabetes can damage your heart and other organs. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking Orinase.
It is not known whether Orinase 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 Orinase passes into breast milk or if it could be harmful to a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking this medicine.
How should I take Orinase?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Follow your doctor's instructions about how often to take Orinase, and whether or not you should take it with food.
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, confusion, irritability, dizziness, or feeling shaky. Always keep a source of sugar with you in case you have low blood sugar. Sugar sources include fruit juice, hard candy, crackers, raisins, and non-diet soda. Be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.
If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use a glucagon injection. Your doctor can prescribe a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to use it.
Check your blood sugar carefully during times of stress, travel, illness, surgery or medical emergency, vigorous exercise, or if you drink alcohol or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your dose needs may also change. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.
Use Orinase regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Orinase is only part of a 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.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember (with food if your doctor instructs you to). 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 of Orinase can cause severe 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 Orinase?
Avoid drinking alcohol. It lowers blood sugar and may interfere with your diabetes treatment.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Orinase can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
Orinase side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
severe skin rash, redness, or itching;
easy bruising or bleeding,
pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine;
low blood sugar--headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, confusion, irritability, dizziness, fast heart rate, or feeling jittery; or
low levels of sodium in the body--headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady.
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)
What other drugs will affect Orinase?
You may be more likely to have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if you take Orinase with other drugs that can lower blood sugar, such as:
sulfa drugs (Bactrim, SMZ-TMP, and others);
a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI); or
insulin or other oral diabetes medications.
This list is not complete, and many other medicines can increase or decrease the effects of Orinase on lowering your blood sugar. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with this medicine. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
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: 6.05.
More about Orinase (tolbutamide)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
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- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
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- Drug class: sulfonylureas
Other brands: Tol-Tab