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glyburide, Micronase: Diabetes Drug Facts, Side Effects and Dosage

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

Glyburide is an oral, glucose-lowering drug in a class of diabetic drugs called sulfonylureas that is used for treating diabetes. 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 the glucose (“sugar”) 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, and the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to overcome the insulin resistance of the body's cells. As a result, their liver produces and releases too much glucose. In addition, Glyburide reduces glucose in the blood by stimulating the pancreas to produce more insulin. Glyburide is not a cure for diabetes. The FDA approved glyburide in May 1984.

What brand names are available for glyburide?

Micronase, Diabeta, Glynase Prestab

Is glyburide available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for glyburide?


What are the uses for glyburide?

Glyburide is a drug prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

What are the side effects of glyburide?

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).

What is the dosage for glyburide?

  • The recommended starting dose is 2.5 to 5 mg daily of regular tablets or 1.5-3 mg daily of micronized tablets.
  • The maintenance dose is 1.25 to 20 mg of regular tablets and 0.75 to 12 mg of micronized tablets given daily or in divided doses every 12 hours.
  • The maximum dose is 20 mg of regular tablets and 12 mg of micronized tablets daily.

Glyburide usually is administered with the first main meal of the day.

Which drugs or supplements interact with glyburide?

Bosentan (Tracleer) may increase the breakdown of glyburide in the liver. Bosentan 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.

There have been reports of increases and decreases in blood glucose levels in patients treated with fluoroquinolone type antibiotics, for example, levofloxacin (Levaquin) and ciprofloxacin (Cipro).

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

Is glyburide safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

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.

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.

What else should I know about glyburide?

What preparations of glyburide are available?

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

How should I keep glyburide stored?

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


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