- Type 2 Diabetes: Learn the Warning Signs
- Diabetes Friendly Dining
- Type 2 Diabetes: Test Your Medical IQ
- What is chlorpropamide, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for chlorpropamide?
- Is chlorpropamide available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for chlorpropamide?
- What are the side effects of chlorpropamide?
- What is the dosage for chlorpropamide?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with chlorpropamide?
- Is chlorpropamide safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about chlorpropamide?
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.
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 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:
- heart palpitations,
- numbness around the mouth,
- tingling of the fingers,
- muscle weakness,
- blurred vision,
- sensation of cold,
- excessive yawning,
- confusion, or
- loss of consciousness.
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:
- weight gain,
- sun sensitivity (skin rash), and
- allergic-type skin-reactions such as itching and hives..
Rarely, blood disorders occur; for example, low white cell counts or low red cell counts.
Quick GuideDiabetes Diet: Healthy Meal Plans for Diabetes-Friendly Eating
What is the dosage for chlorpropamide?
- The recommended dose for middle-aged stable diabetic patients is 250 mg daily. The dose may be increased or decreased by 50 to 125 mg daily at 3 to 5 day intervals.
- Older patients are started at 100 to 125 mg daily. The usual dose maintenance dose is 100 to 500 mg daily.
- Chlorpropamide should be taken 30 minutes before meals.
Which drugs or supplements interact with chlorpropamide?
Drugs that may interact with chlorpropamide and increase the risk of hypoglycemia include:
- Blood thinning agents warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
- chloramphenicol (Ak-Chlor)
- clofibrate (Atromid)
- MAO inhibitors including tranylcypromine (Parnate)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen (Motrin), and aspirin
- Sulfonamides including sulfamethoxazole (Gantanol), phenylbutazone (Azolid), and drugs that make urine more acidic including ammonium chloride.
AAlcohol may interact with chlorpropamide, to cause moderate to severe facial flushing (increased flow of blood to the face) and an increase in facial temperature.
Beta-blockers may lower or increase glucose levels when used alone. When used with sulfonylureas, beta-blocking drugs may interfere with glucose lowering by the sulfonylureas. In addition, beta-blockers can blunt some of the body's protective responses to hypoglycemia, for example, increased heart rate, thus making it difficult for patients to recognize hypoglycemia. This notwithstanding, beta-blockers have been used successfully in diabetic patients and have been associated with improved survival in diabetics with high blood pressure.
Is chlorpropamide safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Very high doses of first generation sulfonylureas have been harmful to fetuses in animal studies. No adequate safety and efficacy studies have been conducted in humans. Therefore, sulfonylureas generally are not a good choice for pregnant women.
Chlorpropamide is excreted in breast milk. Because hypoglycemia may occur in the infant who breastfeeds from a mother taking chlorpropamide, either formula feedings or discontinuation of chlorpropamide is strongly recommended in females who are nursing.
What else should I know about chlorpropamide?
What preparations of chlorpropamide are available?
Tablets: 100 or 250 mg
How should I keep chlorpropamide stored?
Chlorpropamide should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F) in an air-tight container.
Medically reviwed by: John Cunha, DO
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Chlorpropamide (Diabinese) is an oral medication used to strictly control blood sugar (gluclose) levels in people with diabetes. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Diabetes Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take the Diabetes Quiz and learn the causes, signs, symptoms, and types of this growing epidemic. What does diabetes have to do...
Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis, Treatment, Medication
Learn about type 2 diabetes warning signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options. Read how diet and exercise can help manage...
How Diabetes Can Affect Your Feet
Learn more about diabetes related foot problems. For people with diabetes, too much glucose in the blood can cause serious foot...
Diabetes Diet: Healthy Meal Plans for Diabetes-Friendly Eating
Discover the best and worst meals for diabetes-savvy dining. See how to avoid carbs and control your blood sugar with healthier...
Blood Sugar Swings: Tips for Managing Diabetes & Glucose Levels
Learn to better control your glucose levels by preventing blood sugar swings. Beware of caffeine, sugary foods, spices, exercise,...
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Improve Diabetes Nerve Pain
Read about diabetic peripheral neuropathy and exercises to manage nerve pain. Learn how to cope with the symptoms of diabetic...
Type 1 Diabetes: What Are The Symptoms?
What is type 1 diabetes? Is there a cure for type 1 diabetes? Learn about type 1 diabetes symptoms, warning signs, causes, and...
Slideshow: Diabetes Management Tips and Preventing Complications
Learn 10 simple ways to better manage your diabetes. See tips for controlling blood sugar, diet and exercise and other helpful...
Pictures of 10 Muscle-Building Exercises for Diabetes
Watch this slideshow on Diabetes and Exercise. If you have diabetes, see how strengthening your muscles with these 10 weight...
12 Tips to Avoid Diabetes Complications With Pictures
Diabetes complications can be serious problems for your health. Our experts suggest steps you can take to help cut your risk of...
Pictures of Famous People With Diabetes
See pictures of celebrities that have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes including Mary Tyler Moore, Salma Hayek, and...
Related Disease Conditions
Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are...
Diabetes Treatment (Type 1 and Type 2 Medications and Diet)
The major goal in treating diabetes is controlling elevated blood sugar without causing abnormally low levels of blood sugar....
Diabetic Neuropathy (Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment)
Diabetic neuropathy a condition in which nerve damage has occurred as a complication of diabetes. The pain from the nerve...
Diabetes and Foot Problems (Treatment)
Diabetes related foot problems can affect your health with two problems: diabetic neuropathy, where diabetes affects the nerves,...
Diabetes and Eye Problems
Diabetes and eye problems are generally caused by high blood sugar levels over an extended period of time. Types of eye problems...
Diabetes and Kidney Disease
In the United States diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. High blood pressure and high levels of blood glucose...
A diabetic diet, or diabetes diet helps keep blood glucose levels in the target range for patients. Exercise and medication may...
Sex, Urinary, and Bladder Problems of Diabetes
Having diabetes can mean early onset and increased severity of bladder symptoms (urinary incontinence and urinary tract...
Tips for Managing Type 1 and 2 Diabetes at Home
Managing your diabetes is a full time commitment. The goal of diabetic therapy is to control blood glucose levels and prevent the...
Diabetes: Caring for Your Diabetes at Special Times
Taking care of a disease such as diabetes is a life-long process. Learn how to care for yourself or loved one with diabetes in...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Diabetes FAQs
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal - What to Do with Old or Unusable Medication
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Daily Health News
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Diabetes Newsletter
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Top chlorpropamide Related ArticlesComplete List
Diabetes and Eye ProblemsDiabetes and eye problems are generally caused by high blood sugar levels over an extended period of time. Types of eye problems in a person with diabetes include glaucoma, cataracts, and retinopathy. Examples of symptoms include blurred vision, headaches, eye aches, pain, halos around lights, loss of vision, watering eyes. Treatment for eye problems in people with diabetes depend on the type of eye problem. Prevention of eye problems include reducing blood pressure, cholesterol levels, quitting smoking, and maintaining proper blood glucose levels.
Diabetes and Kidney DiseaseIn the United States diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. High blood pressure and high levels of blood glucose increase the risk that a person with diabetes will eventually progress to kidney failure. Kidney disease in people with diabetes develops over the course of many years. albumin and eGFR are two key markers for kidney disease in people with diabetes. Controlling high blood pressure, blood pressure medications, a moderate protein diet, and compliant management of blood glucose can slow the progression of kidney disease. For those patients who's kidneys eventually fail, dialysis or kidney transplantation is the only option.
Diabetes Foot ProblemsLearn more about diabetes related foot problems. For people with diabetes, too much glucose in the blood can cause serious foot complications such as nerve damage, infection, and ulcers. Find tips for proper foot care to help prevent serious complications.
Diabetes MellitusDiabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are referred to as type 1 (insulin dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin dependent). Symptoms of diabetes include increased urine output, thirst, hunger, and fatigue. Treatment of diabetes depends on the type.
Take the Diabetes QuizTake the Diabetes Quiz and learn the causes, signs, symptoms, and types of this growing epidemic. What does diabetes have to do with obesity and diet? Learn about life as a diabetic.
Diabetes Diet PlansDiscover the best and worst meals for diabetes-savvy dining. See how to avoid carbs and control your blood sugar with healthier meal combinations that retain all the foods and flavors you love.
Diabetes TreatmentThe major goal in treating diabetes is controlling elevated blood sugar without causing abnormally low levels of blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes is treated with:
- and a diabetic diet.
- weight reduction,
- a diabetic diet,
- and exercise.
Diabetes: Caring for Your Diabetes at Special TimeTaking care of a disease such as diabetes is a life-long process. Learn how to care for yourself or loved one with diabetes in situations such as illness, work, school, travel, or a natural disaster.
A diabetic diet, or diabetes diet helps keep blood glucose levels in the target range for patients. Exercise and medication may also help stabilize blood glucose levels. Keeping track of when you take your diabetic medicine, keeping track of food choices, eating the proper amount of fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and fats will also help maintain proper blood glucose levels. Foods that raise blood sugar levels are "high glycemic index foods;" examples include:
- Short-grain white rice
Foods that help maintain good blood sugar levels are foods that are low on the glycemic index, for example:
- Rolled or steel-cut oats
- Many fruits
- Non-starchy vegetables
Diabetic Home Care and MonitoringManaging your diabetes is a full time commitment. The goal of diabetic therapy is to control blood glucose levels and prevent the complications of diabetes. Information about exercise, diet, and medication will help you manage your diabetes better. Blood glucose reagent strips, blood glucose meters, urine glucose tests, tests for urinary ketones, continuous glucose sensors, and Hemoglobin A1C testing information will enable you to mange your diabetes at home successfully.
Diabetic neuropathy a condition in which nerve damage has occurred as a complication of diabetes. The pain from the nerve damage can be severe with tingling or numbness in the part of the body affected. Diabetic neuropathy can occur anywhere in the body. Diabetic neuropathy can cause symptoms like intense pain, numbness, burning, or tingling in the part of the body affected by the condition.
There are four types of neuropathy include peripheral, autonomic, proximal and focal. Natural therapies and medications may help relieve the pain and other symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
Foot Problems (Diabetes)Diabetes related foot problems can affect your health with two problems: diabetic neuropathy, where diabetes affects the nerves, and peripheral vascular disease, where diabetes affects the flow of blood. Common foot problems for people with diabetes include athlete's foot, fungal infection of nails, calluses, corns, blisters, bunions, dry skin, foot ulcers, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, and plantar warts.
Blood Sugar SwingsLearn to better control your glucose levels by preventing blood sugar swings. Beware of caffeine, sugary foods, spices, exercise, sleep, alcohol, and stress because these can all impact blood sugar levels and increase diabetes complications
Sexual and Urologic Problems of DiabetesHaving diabetes can mean early onset and increased severity of bladder symptoms (urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections) and changes in sexual function. Men may have erectile dysfunction; and women may have problems with sexual response and vaginal lubrication. Keep your diabetes under control, and you can lower your risk of sexual and urologic problems.
Type 2 Diabetes SlideshowLearn about type 2 diabetes warning signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options. Read how diet and exercise can help manage type 2 diabetes.