Chlorpropamide | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

chlorpropamide, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Diabinese (Discontinued)
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for chlorpropamide

Oral tablet
1

Chlorpropamide is used to treat type 2 diabetes in patients who can’t control their blood sugar level by diet and exercise alone.

2

Chlorpropamide belongs to a class of drugs called sulfonylureas. Sulfonylureas help treat your diabetes by stimulating the cells in your pancreas to release insulin.

3

The most common side effects that occur with chlorpropamide include nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, headache, and dizziness.

4

If accidently taken, chlorpropamide can cause severe low blood sugar reactions, such as coma, seizure, or nervous system problems.

5

You’ll need to learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of high blood sugar and low blood sugar, and be able to manage this when needed.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Risk of heart-related death

According to research, taking oral glucose-lowering drugs, such as chlorpropamide, may increase your risk of heart-related death.  Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of this drug.

Low blood sugar

If you take too much chlorpropamide, you may experience low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Symptoms of hypoglycemia may include:

  • shakiness
  • nervousness or anxiety
  • sweating, chills, clamminess
  • irritability or impatience
  • confusion, delirium
  • rapid/fast heartbeat
  • hunger and nausea
  • sleepiness
  • blurred/impaired vision
  • tingling or numbness in the lips or tongue
  • headaches
  • weakness or fatigue
  • anger, stubbornness, or sadness
  • lack of coordination
  • nightmares or crying out in your sleep
  • seizures
  • unconsciousness

Drug features

Chlorpropamide is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you may need to take it with other drugs.

Why it's used

Chlorpropamide is used to treat type 2 diabetes in patients who can’t control their blood sugar levels by diet and exercise alone.

How it works

Chlorpropamide belongs to a class of drugs called sulfonylureas. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly.

More Details

How it works

Chlorpropamide belongs to a class of drugs called sulfonylureas. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They’re often used to treat similar conditions.

Sulfonylureas help treat your diabetes by stimulating the cells in your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin is a chemical your body makes to help move sugar from your bloodstream into your cells. Once the sugar enters your cells, it becomes fuel for your body. If your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or can't use insulin properly, the sugar will stay in your bloodstream. This causes high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

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SECTION 2 of 5

chlorpropamide Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with chlorpropamide include:

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • decreased appetite

  • headache

  • dizziness

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Hypoglycemia occurs when your blood sugar gets too low (usually less than 70 mg/dL). You may be at greater risk for dangerously low blood sugar if you skip meals, drink alcohol, work out for long time periods, or take other medicine that lowers your blood sugar.

    Not everyone will react the same way to hypoglycemia, so you should learn your own signs and symptoms when your blood sugar is low. The only sure way to know if your blood sugar is too low is to check it. Severe hypoglycemia can lead to injuries, coma, and death. Symptoms may include:

    • shakiness
    • nervousness or anxiety
    • sweating, chills, clamminess
    • irritability or impatience
    • confusion, delirium
    • fast heartbeat
    • hunger and nausea
    • sleepiness
    • blurred/impaired vision
    • tingling or numbness in the lips or tongue
    • headaches
    • weakness or fatigue
    • anger, stubbornness, or sadness
    • lack of coordination
    • nightmares or crying out in your sleep
    • seizures
    • unconsciousness
  • Liver disease. Symtoms may include:

    • yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes
    • fatigue or tiredness
    • nausea and vomiting
    • itching
    • clay-colored or white stools
    • dark urine
    • pain in the upper right part of abdomen 
  • Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone (SIADH). This condition makes it difficult for your body to get rid of excess water. This causes a buildup of fluids as well as abnormally low sodium (salt) levels. Symptoms in severe cases may include: 

    • irritability and restlessness
    • loss of appetite
    • cramps
    • nausea and vomiting
    • muscle weakness
    • confusion
    • hallucinations
    • seizures
    • stupor
    • coma
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Chlorpropamide doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Mild side effects may disappear within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

chlorpropamide May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Chlorpropamide can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Alcohol interaction

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking chlorpropamide. Chlorpropamide may change the way your body breaks down alcohol, causing you to have unpleasant symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and headaches. Alcohol can also raise your blood sugar (hyperglycemia) by adding carbohydrates and can increase your risk for developing low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Medications that might interact with this drug

Other diabetes drugs
  • insulin

Taking any type of insulin with chlorpropamide may cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Certain heart attack drugs
  • beta blockers

Taking these drugs with chlorpropamide may cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Over-the-counter decongestants
  • pseudoephedrine
  • phenylephrine

Taking these drugs together with chlorpropamide may lead to loss of blood sugar control and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs
  • methylphenidate
  • amphetamine salts

Taking these drugs with chlorpropamide may lead to very high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • ibuprofen
  • naproxen

Taking these drugs with chlorpropamide may cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Gout drugs
  • probenacid

Taking this drug with chlorpropamide may cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Blood thinning drugs
  • warfarin

Taking this drug with chlorpropamide may cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Depression drugs
  • Tranylcypromine
  • Phenelzine
  • Isocarboxazid

Taking this drug with chlorpropamide may cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Over-the-counter fungus infection drugs
  • miconazole

Taking this drug with chlorpropamide may cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Fluid retention drugs
  • thiazide diuretics (hydrochlorothiazide, chlorthalidone)
  • loop diuretics (furosemide, bumetanide, torsemide)

Taking these drugs together with chlorpropamide may lead to loss of blood sugar control and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

Corticosteroids
  • prednisone
  • prednisolone
  • methylprednisolone

Taking these drugs together with chlorpropamide may lead to loss of blood sugar control and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

Antipsychotic drugs
  • chlorpromazine
  • fluphenazine
  • perphenazine
  • olanzapine
  • clozapine

Taking these drugs together with chlorpropamide may lead to loss of blood sugar control and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

Thyroid drugs
  • levothyroxine
  • liothyronine

Taking these drugs together with chlorpropamide may lead to loss of blood sugar control and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

Estrogens and oral contraceptives

Taking these drugs together with chlorpropamide may lead to loss of blood sugar control and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

Seizure drugs
  • phenytoin

Taking this drug together with chlorpropamide may lead to loss of blood sugar control and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

Niacin deficiency drugs
  • niacin

Taking this drug together with chlorpropamide may lead to loss of blood sugar control and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

Blood pressure drugs
  • diltiazem
  • verapamil
  • amlodipine

Taking these drugs together with chlorpropamide may lead to loss of blood sugar control and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). 

  • metoprolol
  • carvedilol
  • atenolol
  • propranolol
  • bisoprolol

Taking these drugs with chlorpropamide may lead to changes in blood sugar and can mask some symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), such as fast heart rate and shaking.

Tuberculosis drugs
  • isoniazid

Taking this drug together with chlorpropamide may lead to loss of blood sugar control and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with G6PD deficiency

Chlorpropamide can cause excess destruction of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia) in people with Glucose 6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. Your doctor may prescribe another class of medications for your high blood sugar level if you have this condition.

People with kidney disease

Chlorpropamide is mostly removed from your body by your kidneys. If your kidney function is decreased, chlorpropamide may build up in your body and cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Your doctor will start you at a lower dose and might increase your dose more slowly.

People with liver disease

People with liver disease may be sensitive to the blood sugar-lowering action of this drug. Your doctor may start you at a lower dose and increase your dose more slowly.

Pregnant women

Chlorpropamide is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Speak with your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Chlorpropamide should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are breast-feeding

Chlorpropamide passes into breast milk and can cause serious adverse effects. Tell your doctor if you’re breastfeeding. You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll take chlorpropamide or breastfeed.

For seniors

The safety and effectiveness of chlorpropamide in people aged 65 years and older haven’t been established. As you age, your organs, such as your liver and kidneys, don’t work as well as they once did. This may cause your body to respond differently to this drug. If you’re 65 years or older, you may be more likely to experience very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and very low sodium levels (hyponatremia) when using chlorpropamide.

For children

Safety and effectiveness in children haven’t been established.

Special Kid Safety:

Keep chlorpropamide and all medicine out of reach of children. If ingested, this drug may cause severe hypoglycemic reactions such as coma, seizure, or other neurological problems that may require immediate hospitalization.

Allergies

Chlorpropamide can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • itching
  • hives
  • rash
  • trouble breathing or chest tightness
  • swelling of your lips, tongue, throat, or face
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How to Take chlorpropamide (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on: 

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Type 2 diabetes
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 100 mg and 250 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18-64 years)
  • Initial dose: 250 mg per day
  • Maintenance dose: 100–500 mg per day
  • Your dose will depend on how your body responds to the medicine and how well your blood sugar level is controlled.
Child dosage (ages 0-17 years)

Dosage in people younger than 18 years old hasn’t been established.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)
  • Initial dose: 100–125 mg per day
  • Seniors may be more likely to experience very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) while taking chlorpropamide. Therefore, it’s recommended to start at a lower dose.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Chlorpropamide comes with serious risks if you don't take it as prescribed.

If you don’t take it at all

If you don’t take chlorpropamide at all, you may still experience high blood sugar levels. Over time, elevated blood glucose levels can injure your eyes, kidneys, nerves, or heart.

If you stop taking it suddenly

If you stop taking chlorpropamide, you may experience high blood sugar levels.

If you take too much

If you take too much chlorpropamide, you may experience low blood sugar levels. Symptoms may include:

  • shakiness
  • nervousness or anxiety
  • sweating, chills, clamminess
  • irritability or impatience
  • confusion, delirium
  • fast heartbeat
  • hunger and nausea
  • sleepiness
  • blurred/impaired vision
  • tingling or numbness in the lips or tongue
  • headaches
  • weakness or fatigue
  • anger, stubbornness, or sadness
  • lack of coordination
  • nightmares or crying out in your sleep
  • seizures
  • unconsciousness

What to do if you miss a dose

If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless you remember just a few hours before your next dose. Then only take one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in toxic side effects such as hypoglycemia.

How to tell if the drug Is working

If the drug is working, your blood sugar level will decrease.

Chlorpropamide is a long-term drug treatment.

In general, take the total daily dose with breakfast

If you have nausea or upset stomach that won’t go away, try dividing the daily dose between 2 meals.

Store chlorpropamide at room temperature

Keep it in temperatures from 68–77°F (20–25°C).

Keep it away from light and high temperature.

Store it in a child-resistant container.

Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store your drugs away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to produce your pharmacy’s preprinted label clearly identifying the medication. Keep the original pharmacy prescription-labeled box when traveling.
  • Don’t put this medicine in your glove compartment or leave it in the car, especially when the temperature is hot or freezing.

Self-management

You’ll need to learn how to use a glucose monitor to check your blood sugar regularly.

While taking chlorpropamide, your doctor may have you check your blood sugar levels at home.  You’ll need to purchase the following:

  • sterile alcohol wipes
  • lancing device and lancets (a pricking needle used to obtain drops of blood for testing)
  • blood glucose test strips
  • blood glucose monitor
  • needle container for safe disposal of lancets

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor will test your blood sugar levels to make sure your diabetes is under control. Your doctor will also monitor your Hemoglobin A1c. This level gives an average of your blood sugar level over the previous 3 months.

Sun sensitivity

Chlorpropamide may increase your sensitivity to the sun (photosensitivity). If you take chlorpropamide, use sunscreen and limit your sun exposure.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

What does the pill look like?

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How Much Does chlorpropamide Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for chlorpropamide

CVS Pharmacy $39.25
Kroger Pharmacy $54.15
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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for chlorpropamide on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for chlorpropamide on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on July 14, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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