|Type of medicine||Sulphonylurea antidiabetic medicine|
|Used for||Type 2 diabetes mellitus|
Insulin is a hormone that is made naturally in your body, in the pancreas. It helps to control the levels of sugar in your blood. If your body does not make enough insulin to meet its needs, or if it does not use the insulin it makes effectively, this results in the condition called diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes).
People with diabetes need treatment to control the amount of sugar in their blood. This is because good control of blood sugar levels reduces the risk of complications later on. Some people can control the sugar in their blood by making changes to the food they eat but, for other people, medicines like glibenclamide are given alongside the changes in diet.
Glibenclamide works by increasing the amount of insulin that the pancreas produces. It can be given on its own or alongside other antidiabetic medicines or insulin.
Before taking glibenclamide
Before taking glibenclamide make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have kidney or liver problems.
- If you have a severe infection
- If you are over 65 years of age.
- If you have porphyria (a rare inherited blood disorder).
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take glibenclamide
- Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack.
- Take glibenclamide exactly as your doctor has told you. Take it once a day, with or just after your first meal of the day (usually breakfast).
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- It is important that you keep your regular doctor's and clinic appointments. This is so your progress can be monitored. You are likely to need regular check-ups with an eye clinic and a foot clinic as well as with your doctor and diabetes clinic.
- Your doctor may recommend that you test for sugar in your blood or urine regularly to check that your diabetes is being controlled. Your doctor or diabetes nurse will show you how to do this.
- If you have been given advice by your doctor about changes to your diet, stopping smoking or taking regular exercise, it is important for you to follow the advice you have been given.
- Check with your doctor before taking up any new physical exercise, as this will have an effect on your blood sugar levels and you may need to check your blood or urine levels more regularly.
- Drinking alcohol is not recommended with glibenclamide but, if you do have a drink, keep to the recommended alcohol limits. Taking glibenclamide and alcohol will affect the control of your blood sugar.
- If you are due to have an operation or dental treatment, you should tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are diabetic and taking glibenclamide.
- If you get unusually thirsty, pass urine more frequently, and feel very tired, then let your doctor know. Your dose of glibenclamide may need adjusting.
- Make sure you know what it feels like if your blood sugar is too low. This is known as hypoglycaemia or a 'hypo'. The first signs of hypoglycaemia are: feeling shaky or anxious, sweating, looking pale, feeling hungry, having palpitations (a feeling that your heart is pounding), and feeling dizzy. If these happen you should eat or drink something containing sugar or have a snack straightaway. Hypoglycaemia may occur if you miss a meal, if you exercise more than usual, if you are ill, or if you drink a lot of alcohol.
- If you are a driver you should take special care, as your ability to concentrate may be affected if your diabetes is not well-controlled. Make sure you know what it feels like if your blood sugar is low. You may be advised to check your blood or urine glucose levels before you travel and have a snack with you on long journeys.
Can glibenclamide cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common glibenclamide side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling or being sick||Stick to simple foods|
|Constipation||Eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace any lost fluids|
|Symptoms of hypoglycaemia: feeling shaky or anxious, sweating, looking pale, feeling hungry, feeling that your heart is pounding, feeling dizzy||Eat something containing sugar such as a biscuit or a sugary drink (not diet) and follow this up with a snack such as a sandwich. Tell your doctor if you notice these symptoms|
|Increase in weight||If this becomes a problem, let your doctor know at your next check-up|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store glibenclamide
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Glibenclamide 2.5 mg Tablets; Manufacturer's PIL, Glibenclamide 2.5 mg Tablets, Aurobindo Pharma Ltd, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated November 2007.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Hannah Gronow|
|Last Checked: 19/01/2012||Document ID: 3451 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.