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All about: glipizide

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Generic Name: glipizide (GLIP ih zide)
Brand Names: Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL

What is glipizide?

Glipizide is in a class of drugs called sulfonylureas. It is used to help control blood sugar levels.

Glipizide is used to treat type 2 diabetes along with diet, exercise, and insulin therapy, if necessary.

Glipizide may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about glipizide?

Treatment with glipizide may increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared to treatment of diabetes with diet alone or diet plus insulin. Discuss with your doctor the risks and benefits of treatment with glipizide.

Know the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which include headache, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, fast heartbeat, sweating, tremor, and nausea. Carry a piece of hard candy or glucose tablets with you to treat episodes of low blood sugar.

Follow diet, medication, and exercise routines closely. Changing any of them can affect blood sugar levels.

Do not change your dose of glipizide without first talking to your doctor. Avoid alcohol. It lowers blood sugar and may interfere with diabetes treatment. The Glucotrol XL extended release tablets (glipizide extended release tablets) should be swallowed whole. Do not chew, divide, or crush the tablets.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking glipizide?

Before taking glipizide, tell your doctor if you

  • have kidney disease;
  • have liver disease;
  • have thyroid disease;

  • have type 1 diabetes;

  • have a serious infection, illness, or injury; or

  • need surgery.

You may not be able to take glipizide, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Patients 65 years of age and older may have a stronger reaction to glipizide and may require a reduced dose.

Glipizide is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether glipizide will be harmful to an unborn baby. Insulin is usually the drug of choice to control diabetes during pregnancy. Do not take glipizide without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether glipizide passes into breast milk. Do not take glipizide without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take glipizide?

Take glipizide exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Glipizide is usually taken before breakfast if it is taken once a day, or before meals if it is taken multiple times each day. Follow your doctor's instructions.

The Glucotrol XL extended release tablets (glipizide extended release tablets) should be swallowed whole. Do not chew, divide, or crush the tablets.

If you are taking Glucotrol XL extended release tablets (glipizide extended release tablets), do not be concerned if something that looks like a tablet occasionally appears in the stool. The medication is contained in a non-absorbable shell that has been specially designed to slowly release the drug so the body can absorb it. When this process is completed, the empty tablet is eliminated from the body.

It is important to take glipizide regularly to get the most benefit.

Do not change your dose of glipizide without first talking to your doctor.

Your healthcare provider may recommend regular monitoring of blood sugar levels with blood or urine tests.

Store glipizide at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.

Symptoms of a glipizide overdose include hunger, nausea, anxiety, cold sweats, weakness, drowsiness, unconsciousness, and coma.

What should I avoid while taking glipizide?

Follow diet, medication, and exercise routines closely. Changing any of these things can effect blood sugar levels.

Avoid alcohol. It lowers blood sugar and may interfere with your diabetes treatment.

Tell your doctor and dentist that you are taking this medication before you undergo any surgery.

Do not take any prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal cough, cold, allergy, pain, or weight loss medications without first talking to your doctor.

Glipizide side effects

Stop taking glipizide and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives).

Other, less serious side effects from glipizide result mostly from blood sugar levels that are either too high or too low. You should be familiar with the symptoms of both high and low blood sugar levels and know how to treat both conditions. Also, be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency situation.

Low blood sugar may occur when too much glipizide is taken; when meals are missed or delayed; if you exercise more than usual; during illness, especially with vomiting or diarrhea; if you take other medications; after drinking alcohol; and in other situations.

Hypoglycemia or Low blood sugar has the following symptoms:

  • shaking;

  • headache;

  • cold sweats;

  • pale, cool skin;

  • anxiety; and

  • difficulty concentrating.

Keep hard, sugary candy; chocolate; fruit juice; or glucose tablets on hand to treat episodes of low blood sugar.

Increased blood sugar may occur when not enough glipizide is taken; if you eat significantly more food than usual; if you exercise less than usual; if you take other medications; during fever or other illness; and in other situations.

Hyperglycemia or High blood sugar has the following symptoms:

  • increased thirst,

  • increased hunger, and

  • increased urination.

There may be an increased risk of death due to cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels) complications with the use of glipizide when compared to the treatment of diabetes with diet or diet plus insulin. The long-term use of glipizide should be discussed with your doctor.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect glipizide?

Many other medicines may increase or decrease the effects of glipizide or affect your condition. Before taking glipizide, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • aspirin or another salicylate such as magnesium/choline salicylate (Trilisate), salsalate (Disalcid, others), choline salicylate (Arthropan), magnesium salicylate (Magan), or bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol);

  • a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, others), ketoprofen (Orudis, Orudis KT, Oruvail), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam), etodolac (Lodine), indomethacin (Indocin), nabumetone (Relafen), oxaprozin (Daypro), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve), and others;
  • a sulfa-based drug such as sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (Bactrim, Septra), sulfisoxazole (Gantrisin), or sulfasalazine (Azulfidine);

  • a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), or phenelzine (Nardil);

  • a beta-blocker such as propranolol (Inderal), atenolol (Tenormin), acebutolol (Sectral), metoprolol (Lopressor), and others;
  • a diuretic (water pill) such as hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, Hydrodiuril), chlorothiazide (Diuril), and others;

  • a steroid medicine such as prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone, others), methylprednisolone (Medrol, others), prednisolone (Prelone, Pediapred, others), and others;

  • a phenothiazine such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin, Permitil), prochlorperazine (Compazine), promethazine (Phenergan), and others;

  • phenytoin (Dilantin);

  • isoniazid (Nydrazid); or

  • prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal cough, cold, allergy, or weight loss medications.

You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with glipizide or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about glipizide written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Glipizide is available with a prescription under the brand names Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Glucotrol 5 mg--diamond-shaped, white, scored tablets

  • Glucotrol 10 mg--diamond-shaped, white, scored tablets

  • Glucotrol XL 2.5 mg-blue, round, biconvex tablets

  • Glucotrol XL 5 mg--round, white, biconvex tablets

  • Glucotrol XL 10 mg--round, white, biconvex tablets

  • 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.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.05. Revision Date: 6/18/04 11:15:03 AM.

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