chlorpropamide, Diabinese

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

What is chlorpropamide, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Chlorpropamide is an oral blood sugar-lowering drug in a class of medications for diabetes treatment called sulfonylureas. It is one of the first four sulfonylureas to be used to manage type II diabetes and it is commonly referred to as a first generation sulfonylurea. The second generation sulfonylureas are glipizide (Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL), glyburide (Micronase), and glimepiride (Amaryl). The primary difference between the first and second generation sulfonylureas is in the way they are eliminated from the body. As a result, second generation sulfonylureas usually are taken less frequently each day than first generation sulfonylureas and generally are preferred when there is poor function of the kidneys. The second generation sulfonylureas were first used in the United States in 1984. The FDA approved chlorpropamide in October 1958.

All sulfonylureas lower blood sugar (glucose) by increasing the release of insulin from the pancreas. (Insulin is the hormone that lowers the blood sugar level.)

Approximately 90% of patients with diabetes have type II diabetes, formerly called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Type II diabetes usually occurs in adults and is associated with obesity and a strong family history of diabetes. The inability to control blood glucose in type II diabetes is caused by reduced insulin release by the pancreas as well as decreased removal of glucose from the blood by the body's cells.

What brand names are available for chlorpropamide?

Diabinese

Is chlorpropamide available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for chlorpropamide?

Yes

What are the side effects of chlorpropamide?

Chlorpropamide has similar side effects as other sulfonylureas.

The most common side effects of sulfonylureas are:

The above symptoms usually are avoided if the drug is ingested with a meal.

Hypoglycemia may occur during sulfonylurea therapy. Symptoms and signs include:

All sulfonylureas can lower blood sugar (glucose levels) to the point of causing symptoms and signs (hypoglycemia). Therefore, these agents must be used carefully with patients who have other physical or medical factors that may lower their blood glucose. These factors include:

Sulfonylureas may cause:

Rarely, blood disorders occur; for example, low white cell counts or low red cell counts.

Fluid retention and swelling of the body due to jaundice, hepatitis, or a low blood sodium concentrate occur rarely.

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