Glipizide side effects and drug information

Glipizide is an oral diabetes medicine that helps in controlling blood sugar levels by letting your pancreas produce insulin. 

Used together with diet and exercise, Glipizide improves blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes. Glipizide is not used for treating type 1 diabetes.

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Glipizide may also be used with other diabetes medications. Controlling high blood sugar prevents kidney damage, nerve problems, blindness, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a stroke or heart attack. Glipizide belongs to the class of drugs known as sulfonylureas, which lowers blood sugar by causing the release of your body’s natural insulin.

Side Effects

The common side effects of Glipizide include:

  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • upset stomach
  • weight gain

Immediately inform your doctor if any of these side effects will get worse or persist. Also, inform your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • signs of infection
  • easy bleeding or bruising
  • yellowing of the eyes, skin
  • stomach pain
  • unusual weakness or tiredness
  • mental or mood changes
  • unusual or sudden weight gain
  • swelling of the hands and feet
  • seizures

Glipizide can cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. This may happen if you do not consume enough calories from food or if you perform the unusually heavy exercise. Low blood sugar is manifested through:

  • shaking
  • sudden sweating
  • fast heartbeat
  • blurred vision
  • hunger
  • dizziness
  • tingling hands or feet

You can rapidly raise your blood sugar by taking a glucose tablet, or in the absence thereof, table sugar, candy, honey, or non-diet soda. You can prevent low blood sugar by eating meals on a regular schedule. Do not skip meals.

Dosage and Administration

The dose, form, and how often Glipizide should be taken will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • the severity of the condition
  • other medical conditions
  • how you react to the first dose

Glipizide comes in the following forms:

  • Oral immediate-release tablet – 5 mg, 10 mg
  • Oral extended-release tablet – 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg.

Adult dosages

  • Extended-release tablets – starting dosage: 5 mg taken by mouth once per day with breakfast. Maximum dosage – 20 mg per day
  • Immediate-release tablets – starting dosage – 5 mg taken by mouth once per day 30 minutes before breakfast. Maximum dosage – 40 mg per day

Drug Interaction

Share with your doctor a list of all the medications you are currently taking, including prescription medications, nonprescription medications, and herbal products. Your doctor will check if any of the medications you are taking will interact with Glipizide.

Beta-blocker medications may prevent the fast heartbeat that you would normally feel when your blood sugar falls very low. Other symptoms of low blood sugar such as hunger, dizziness, or sweating are not affected by these drugs.

You must check the labels on all your medications as they might contain ingredients that could affect your blood sugar. 

Warning and Precautions

Before you start taking Glipizide, tell your doctor if you are allergic to it, or if you have any other form of allergies. Glipizide may contain inactive ingredients that could trigger an allergic reaction or other problems. 

Before you start taking Glipizide, tell your doctor about your medical history, especially if you have had kidney disease, liver disease, thyroid disease, electrolyte imbalance, syndrome of an inappropriate section of antidiuretic hormone, and certain hormonal conditions. 

You can experience dizziness, blurred vision, or drowsiness when your blood sugar is either high or low. Do not drive, operate machinery, or perform any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure that you can perform the activity safely.

Alcohol intake may increase your risk of developing low blood sugar. 

Overdose and Contraindications

If someone has overdosed on Glipizide and has serious symptoms such as trouble breathing or passing out, call emergency medical services immediately. If the symptoms are not life-threatening, call your doctor or your local poison control center.

Glipizide should not be shared with others. Learn the symptoms of high and low blood sugar and how to treat low blood sugar. Check your blood sugar as regularly directed.

Laboratory and medical tests must be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects.

Clinical Pharmacology

Glipizide is an oral hypoglycemic agent that belongs to the second generation sulfonylurea drug class that is used for the control of blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. First introduced in 1984, Glipizide is available in various countries including Canada and the US. Sulfonylurea drugs are considered second-line glucose-lowering therapy following metformin. Sulfonylureas require functional pancreatic beta cells for their therapeutic effectiveness, which makes them more commonly used for early-stage type 2 diabetes when there is no progressed pancreatic failure, which enhances their hypoglycemic potency. 

Glipizide displays rapid absorption and onset of action with the shortest half-life and duration of action, reducing the risk from long-lasting hypoglycemia that is often noticed with blood glucose-lowering agents. 

Medication Guide

Together with proper diet and exercise, Glipizide is used to control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. 

Glipizide must be taken by mouth 30 minutes before breakfast or the first meal of the day as directed by your doctor. Glipizide is usually taken once daily or twice daily. Patients taking high doses of Glipizide may be directed by their doctor to take it twice daily. The dosage of Glipizide is based on the medical conditions and your response to treatment. 

Your doctor may choose to reduce your risk of side effects from Glipizide by directing you to start using this medication at the lowest dose then gradually increasing it. you should follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

If you take another diabetes medication, such as chlorpropamide, carefully follow your doctor’s instructions.

Glipizide must be used regularly to get the most benefits from it. It will help if you can take your meals at the same time each day. 

Immediately report to your doctor if your condition does not improve or if your blood sugar as it will stay either high or low.