Glucovance

Generic Name: Glyburide

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Glucovance is a medicine used along with diet and exercise to help control high blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. Glucovance contains two medicines that work in two different ways to lower your blood sugar levels: glyburide and metformin.

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

    How does this medication work?

    Glyburide stimulates your body to release more insulin. Metformin helps your body respond better to the insulin it makes naturally, decreases the amount of sugar your liver makes, and decreases 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 Glucovance provides better control of blood sugar compared to either glyburide 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 Glucovance exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    Check your blood sugar regularly and as your healthcare provider tells you to. Your healthcare provider will also do regular blood tests to measure your blood sugar levels and your hemoglobin A1C (measures 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.

    Glucovance 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 Glucovance 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: upper respiratory infection, diarrhea, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal (stomach area) pain, dizziness.

    Less common side effects may include:

    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 Glucovance if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not take Glucovance 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 Glucovance. 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; kidney, liver, or heart problems; drink alcohol frequently; 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 previous diabetes medication, and may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

  • How should I take this medication?

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

    Take Glucovance with meals to lower your chance of having an upset stomach.

    While you are taking Glucovance, 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 Glucovance. Alcohol can increase your chance of developing lactic acidosis.

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

    If Glucovance is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Glucovance may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very 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 Glucovance during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Glucovance. 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 Glucovance, take it as soon as you remember. 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.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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