- 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.
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.
Quick GuideDiabetes Diet: Healthy Meal Plans for Diabetes-Friendly Eating
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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,...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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 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 Foot Problems (Treatment)
Diabetes related foot problems can affect your health with two problems: diabetic neuropathy, where diabetes affects the nerves,...
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...
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...
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....
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...
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
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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