glyburide, Micronase, Diabeta, Glynase, Prestab

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GENERIC NAME: glyburide

BRAND NAMES: Micronase, Diabeta, Glynase Prestab

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Glyburide is an oral glucose lowering-drug in a class of diabetic drugs called sulfonylureas. Other sulfonylureas include glipizide (Glucotrol), glimepiride (Amaryl), tolbutamide (Orinase), tolazamide, and chlorpropamide (Diabinese). Insulin is a hormone that is made in the pancreas. When released into the blood, insulin reduces the formation of glucose by the liver and causes cells in the body to remove sugar (glucose) from the blood. Patients with type 2 diabetes have high glucose levels in their blood because the cells in their bodies are resistant to the effect of insulin. Their liver produces too much glucose. In addition, the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to overcome the insulin resistance of the body's cells. Glyburide reduces blood glucose by stimulating the pancreas to produce more insulin. Glyburide is not a cure for diabetes. The FDA approved glyburide in May 1984.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 1.25, 2.5, 5 mg. Tablets (micronized): 1.5, 3, 4.5, 6 mg.

STORAGE: Glyburide should be stored at room temperature, 15-30 C (59-86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Glyburide is used in combination with diet and exercise to reduce blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes. It may be used alone or combined with other medications for treating type 2 diabetes.

DOSING: The recommended starting dose is 2.5 to 5 mg daily of regular tablets or 1.5-3 mg daily of micronized tablets. The maximum dose is 1.25 to 20 mg of regular tablets and 0.75 to 12 mg of micronized tablets. Glyburide usually is administered with the first main meal of the day.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Bosentan (Tracleer) and glyburide should not be used together because blood levels of both drugs decrease, potentially reducing their effect, and there is an increase in liver toxicity. Bosentan may increase the breakdown of glyburide in the liver.

There have been reports of changes in blood sugar (increase or decrease) in patients treated with fluoroquinolone type antibiotics, for example, levofloxacin (Levaquin) and ciprofloxacin (Cipro) and antidiabetic agents such as glyburide.

Thiazide diuretics, for example, hydrochlorothiazide (Hydrodiuril) increase blood glucose levels, reducing the effect of glucose reducing medications such as glyburide.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of glyburide in pregnant women. Prolonged and severe hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) has occurred in infants whose mothers were receiving other sulfonylurea drugs.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether glyburide is excreted in breast milk. Since many sulfonylureas are excreted in breast milk and potentially may harm the infant, alternative diabetic therapies should be considered or breast feeding should be discontinued.

SIDE EFFECTS: Common side effects include nausea, heartburn, rashes, low blood sugar, blurred vision and weight gain. Rare but serious side effects include hepatitis, jaundice, and low blood sodium levels (hyponatremia).

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Last Editorial Review: 2/17/2009




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