Glipizide/Metformin

Generic Name: Glipizide

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Glipizide/metformin is a medicine used along with diet and exercise to help control high blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. Glipizide/metformin is a combination medicine that works in two different ways to lower your blood sugar levels.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Glipizide helps your body release more insulin. Metformin helps your body respond better to the insulin it makes naturally, decreasing the amount of sugar your liver makes, and decreasing the amount of sugar your intestines absorb. Together, they help to control your blood sugar.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: Lowering your blood sugar to a normal level may prevent or delay potential complications associated with diabetes, such as blindness, kidney failure, or heart problems. Also, the combination of medicines in glipizide/metformin provides better control of blood sugar compared to either glipizide or metformin alone.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take glipizide/metformin exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    Check your blood sugar regularly and as per your healthcare provider's recommendations. Your healthcare provider will also do regular blood tests to measure your blood sugar levels and your hemoglobin A1C (which estimates your average blood sugar levels over a 2- to 3-month period). Stay on your prescribed diet and exercise program, as this will also affect the results of your blood tests.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    Glipizide/metformin can cause a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis (a build-up of an acid in the blood). This is a medical emergency and must be treated in the hospital. Stop taking glipizide/metformin and call your healthcare provider right away if you feel very weak or tired; have unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, sleepiness or you sleep longer than usual; develop sudden stomach or intestinal problems with nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; feel cold, especially in your arms and legs; experience dizziness or lightheadedness; or have a slow or irregular heartbeat.

    You have a higher chance of getting lactic acidosis if you have kidney or liver problems; have heart failure that requires treatment with medicines; drink a lot of alcohol; become dehydrated (lose a large amount of body fluids); have certain tests with dyes or contrast agents that are injected into your body; undergo surgery; or experience a heart attack, severe infection, or stroke.

    More common side effects may include: diarrhea, headache, upper respiratory infection, high blood pressure, muscle pain, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, urinary tract infection.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Increased risk of life-threatening heart problems.

    Low blood sugar with symptoms such as shaking, sweating, rapid heartbeat, changes in your vision, hunger, headache, or changes in your mood. Your risk of low blood sugar is higher if you do not eat enough, drink alcohol, or take other medicines to lower your blood sugar.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take glipizide/metformin if you are allergic to it or to any of its ingredients.

    Do not take glipizide/metformin if you have kidney problems, or are going to receive an injection of dye or contrast agents for an x-ray procedure.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with glipizide/metformin. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have a condition known as glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency; heart, kidney, or liver problems; drink alcohol frequency; are dehydrated; are going to receive an injection of dye or contrast agents for an x-ray procedure; if you are scheduled for surgery; develop a condition such as a heart attack, severe infection, or stroke; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you based on your condition and previous diabetes medication, and may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    If you are elderly or have kidney impairment, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take glipizide/metformin exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking glipizide/metformin without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Take glipizide/metformin with meals to lower your chance of having an upset stomach.

    While you are taking glipizide/metformin, stay on your diet and exercise program, and check your blood sugar regularly as directed by your healthcare provider.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not drink excessive amounts of alcohol while taking glipizide/metformin. Alcohol can increase your chance of developing lactic acidosis.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If glipizide/metformin is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Glipizide/metformin may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of glipizide/metformin during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Do not breastfeed while you are taking glipizide/metformin. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of glipizide/metformin, take it as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature.