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Generic Name:

glipizide, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Glucotrol
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for glipizide

Oral tablet
1

Glipizide is an oral drug that’s used to treat type 2 diabetes.

2

The standard starting dose for adults is 5 mg/day taken before or with breakfast, depending on the form of the drug that you take. Your doctor may increase your dose based on your blood sugar levels.

3

Test your blood sugar levels and urine sugar as often as your doctor tells you to. This will help you tell if the medication is working.

4

Be sure to follow your diet and exercise plan as prescribed by your doctor. Glipizide works with a healthy diet and exercise to lower your blood sugar levels.

5

This drug may cause low blood sugar levels. Signs of low blood sugar include intense hunger, nervousness, shakiness, sweating, chills, clamminess, dizziness, fast heart rate, lightheadedness, sleepiness, confusion, blurred vision, headache, depression, irritability, and crying spells. If you have a low blood sugar reaction, you’ll need to treat it.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Fatal heart problems

Glipizide may increase your risk of fatal heart problems compared to treatment with diet alone or diet plus insulin. Ask your doctor if glipizide is right for you.

Diabetic ketoacidosis

Don’t use this medication to treat diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious medical condition that may or may not include coma.  This condition must be treated with insulin.

Allergy

Don’t take glipizide if you’re allergic to it. Taking it again can be fatal.

Low blood sugar

Glipizide can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If you don’t treat low blood sugar, you can have a seizure, pass out, and possibly develop brain damage. Low blood sugar can even be fatal. If you pass out because of a low sugar reaction or cannot swallow, someone will have to give an injection of glucagon to treat the low sugar reaction. You may need to go to the emergency room.

What is glipizide?

Glipizide is a prescription drug. It’s available in these forms: oral immediate-release tablet and oral extended-release tablet.

Glipizide is available in its generic form. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand.  Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

Why it's used

Glipizide is used to reduce blood sugar levels in people with high blood sugar caused by type 2 diabetes.

How it works

Glipizide belongs to a class of drugs called sulfonylureas.

More Details

How it works

Glipizide belongs to a class of drugs called sulfonylureas. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions. 

Glipizide helps release insulin from your pancreas. Insulin moves sugar from your bloodstream to your cells, where it belongs. This decreases your blood sugar levels.

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SECTION 2 of 5

glipizide Side Effects

Oral tablet

More Common Side Effects

  • The more common side effects that occur with glipizide tablets include:

    • low blood sugar
    • stomach problems
  • The more common side effects that occur with glipizide extended-release tablets include:

    • low blood sugar
    • abdominal pain

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.

  • low blood sugar. Symptoms may include:

    • intense hunger
    • nervousness
    • shakiness
    • sweating, chills, and clamminess
    • dizziness
    • fast heart rate
    • lightheadedness
    • sleepiness
    • confusion
    • blurred vision
    • headache
    • depression
    • irritability
    • crying spells
    • nightmares and crying out in your sleep

    If you don’t treat low blood sugar, you can have a seizure, pass out, and possibly develop brain damage. Low blood sugar can even be fatal. If you pass out because of a low sugar reaction or cannot swallow, someone will have to give you an injection of glucagon to treat the low sugar reaction. You may need to go to the emergency room.

  • allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

    • red, itchy, or dry skin
    • skin rashes
  • low blood cell or platelet counts. Symptoms may include:

    • infections
    • bleeding that doesn’t stop as quickly as normal
  • low blood sodium levels. Symptoms may include:

    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • headache
    • confusion
    • fatigue
    • muscle weakness
    • seizures
    • coma
  • liver problems. Symptoms may include:

    • yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
    • stomach pain and swelling
    • swelling in your legs and ankles (edema)
    • itchy skin
    • dark-colored urine
    • pale stool or tar-colored stool
    • always feeling tired
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • bruising easily
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Glipizide doesn’t cause drowsiness.

This drug will decrease your blood sugar levels. Glipizide can cause your blood sugar level to drop too low (hypoglycemia). If you have a low blood sugar reaction, you need to treat it.

  • For mild hypoglycemia (55–70 mg/dL), treatment is 15–20 grams of glucose (a type of sugar). You need to eat or drink one of the following:
    • 3–4 glucose tablets
    • a tube of glucose gel
    • ½ cup of juice or regular, non-diet soda
    • 1 cup of nonfat or 1% cow’s milk
    • 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey, or corn syrup
    • 8–10 pieces of hard candy, such as lifesavers
  • Test your blood sugar 15 minutes after you treat the low sugar reaction. If your blood sugar is still low, then repeat the above treatment.

Once your blood sugar level is back in the normal range, eat a small snack if your next planned meal or snack is more than 1 hour later.

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

glipizide May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Glipizide 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.

Food interactions

Glipizide immediate-release tablets may not work right away if they’re taken with food. Take them 30 minutes before meals to avoid this.

Alcohol interaction

This drug may cause an unpleasant sensation (disulfuram reaction) when taken with alcohol. Symptoms of this reaction include flushing, increased heart rate, headache, nausea and vomiting, confusion, shortness of breath, and fainting.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • ibuprofen
  • naproxen
  • diclofenac

These drugs can cause low blood sugar when taken with glipizide.

Antifungal medications
  • fluconazole
  • miconazole
  • ketoconazole

These drugs can cause low blood sugar when taken with glipizide.

Drugs that contain salicylate
  • aspirin
  • salsalate

These drugs can cause low blood sugar when taken with glipizide.

Drugs that contain sulfonamide
  • sulfacetamide
  • sulfadiazine
  • sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim

These drugs can cause low blood sugar when taken with glipizide.

Drug for eye infections
  • chloramphenicol

This drug can cause low blood sugar when taken with glipizide.

Drugs that treat gout
  • probenecid 

This drug can cause low blood sugar when taken with glipizide.

Blood thinner medications
  • warfarin 

This drug can cause low blood sugar when taken with glipizide.

Drugs used to treat depression
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as:
    • isocarboxazid
    • phenelzine

These drugs can cause low blood sugar when taken with glipizide.

Heart and blood pressure medications (beta blockers)
  • metoprolol
  • atenolol

These drugs can cause low blood sugar when taken with glipizide.

Diuretics (thiazide diuretics)
  • chlorothiazide
  • chlorthalidone
  • hydrochlorothiazide

These drugs may increase your blood sugar levels when taken with glipizide. Be sure to test your blood sugar as directed by your doctor if you’re taking these medications together.

Corticosteroids

These drugs may increase your blood sugar levels when taken with glipizide. Be sure to test your blood sugar as directed by your doctor if you’re taking these medications together.

Anti-psychotic, anti-nausea, and anti-vomiting medications
  • chlorpromazine
  • promethazine
  • prochlorperazine 

These drugs may increase your blood sugar levels when taken with glipizide. Be sure to test your blood sugar as directed by your doctor if you’re taking these medications together.

Thyroid medications
  • levothyroxine

This drug may increase your blood sugar levels when taken with glipizide. Be sure to test your blood sugar as directed by your doctor if you’re taking these medications together.

Estrogens and oral birth control pills

These drugs may increase your blood sugar levels when taken with glipizide. Be sure to test your blood sugar as directed by your doctor if you’re taking these medications together.

Medication to treat seizures
  • phenytoin

This drug may increase your blood sugar levels when taken with glipizide. Be sure to test your blood sugar as directed by your doctor if you’re taking these medications together.

Niacin

This drug may increase your blood sugar levels when taken with glipizide. Be sure to test your blood sugar as directed by your doctor if you’re taking these medications together.

Drugs that increase blood pressure
  • phenylephrine

This drug may increase your blood sugar levels when taken with glipizide. Be sure to test your blood sugar as directed by your doctor if you’re taking these medications together.

Heart and blood pressure medications (calcium channel blockers)
  • amlodipine
  • verapamil

These drugs may increase your blood sugar levels when taken with glipizide. Be sure to test your blood sugar as directed by your doctor if you’re taking these medications together.

Drugs to treat tuberculosis
  • isoniazid

This drug may increase your blood sugar levels when taken with glipizide. Be sure to test your blood sugar as directed by your doctor if you’re taking these medications together.

Cholesterol and type 2 diabetes medications
  • colesevelam

This drug may increase your blood sugar levels when taken with glipizide. Be sure to test your blood sugar as directed by your doctor if you’re taking these medications together.

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.
Glipizide warnings
liver problems
People with liver problems

If you have liver problems, you may not be able to clear this drug from your body as well as you should. Glipizide may build up in your body, which can cause lower blood sugar levels.

kidney problems
People with kidney problems

If you have kidney problems, you may not be able to clear this drug from your body as well as you should. Glipizide may build up in your body, which can cause lower blood sugar levels.

surgery
People who are sick, injured, or plan to have surgery

If you have a fever, trauma, infection, or surgery, you may not be able to control your blood sugar levels with this drug. Your doctor may give you insulin temporarily instead.

enzyme deficiency
People with an enzyme deficiency

Don’t take glipizide if you have an enzyme deficiency of 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD). You could get anemia.

diabetic ketoacidosis
People with diabetic ketoacidosis

Don’t take glipizide if you have type 1 diabetes and diabetic ketoacidosis (with or without coma). Use insulin to treat this condition instead.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

Glipizide 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.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Glipizide should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known if glipizide passes through breast milk. If it does, it may cause serious effects in a breast-feeding child.

You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll take glipizide or breast-feed.

seniors
For seniors

Your body may process this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose to stop too much of the drug from building up in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be toxic.

children
For children

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years old.

Special Kid Safety:

  • Keep glipizide out of the reach of children.
  • Ask your pharmacist how to throw out unused medication that you didn’t take.
allergies
Allergies

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

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives
  • skin rash 

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take glipizide (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

Generic: glipizide

Form: Oral immediate-release tablet
Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg
Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg

Brand: Glucotrol

Form: Oral immediate-release tablet
Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg

Brand: Glucotrol XL

Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • Extended-release tablets: 
    • starting dose: 5 mg taken by mouth once per day with breakfast 
    • maximum dose: 20 mg per day
  • Immediate-release tablets:
    • starting dose: 5 mg taken by mouth once per day 30 minutes before breakfast
    • maximum dose: 40 mg per day

If you take glipizide 20 mg or less and are switching from the immediate-release tablets to the extended-release tablets or vice-versa, your dose will be the same. If you take more than 20 mg of immediate-release tablets, your dose of the extended-release tablets will be 20 mg.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

A safe and effective dose for children hasn’t been established.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

You may be more sensitive to glipizide, which may increase your risk of low blood sugar. Your doctor may start you on a lower dose of 2.5 mg taken once per day.

Special considerations

Kidney and liver problems: Your doctor may start you on a lower dose to avoid low blood sugar levels.

Malnutrition or adrenal or pituitary insufficiency: Your doctor may start you on a lower dose to avoid low blood sugar levels. 

If you’re taking other oral diabetes medications: If you’re adding glipizide extended-release tablets to other diabetes medications, your doctor may start you at a dose of 2.5 mg per day.

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
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

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

If you don’t take it at all or miss doses

If you don’t take glipizide at all or miss a dose, you may get high blood sugar levels. Symptoms may include:

  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • blurred vision
  • extreme drowsiness
  • feeling very hungry even though you’re eating
  • cuts and bruises that heal slowly

If your blood sugar levels stay high for too long, your diabetes won’t improve and you may develop complications.

If you take too much

If you take too much glipizide, you may get very low blood sugar levels. Symptoms may include:

  • intense hunger
  • nervousness
  • shakiness
  • sweating, chills, or clamminess
  • dizziness
  • fast heart rate
  • lightheadedness
  • sleepiness
  • confusion
  • blurred vision
  • headache
  • mood changes
  • irritability

Seek emergency help right away if you have symptoms of severe low blood sugar, such as loss of consciousness, seizures, coma, and neurological problems.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s just a few hours before the time for your next dose, only take one dose at that time.

Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in toxic side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

You may be able to tell if this drug is working if you have a decrease in your blood sugar levels and your symptoms of diabetes get better. For instance, you may not be as thirsty or hungry, and you may not urinate as often.

Glipizide is used for long-term treatment.

Each form of the tablet has different timing guidelines

  • Take glipizide immediate-release tablets 30 minutes before your first meal of the day.
  • Take glipizide extended-release tablets with your first meal of the day.
  • Take glipizide at the same time each day.

Store glipizide at room temperature

  • Keep it from 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Don’t freeze glipizide.
  • Keep it away from light and high temperatures.
  • Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.
  • Keep all medications away from children.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s label to clearly identify the medication. Keep the original prescription label with you when traveling.

Self-management

Your doctor or pharmacist will show you how to test your blood sugar at home using a blood glucose monitor.

In addition to the medication, you’ll also need:

  • a machine to test blood sugar at home (blood glucose monitor)
  • alcohol swabs
  • lancets to prick your finger to test your blood sugar
  • blood sugar test strips
  • a needle container for safe disposal of used lancets

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor may do blood tests before you begin and during treatment with glipizide to make sure it’s safe for you to take. These include: 

  • blood sugar levels
  • urine sugar levels
  • glycosylated hemoglobin (A1C) levels. This test measures your blood sugar control over the last 2–3 months.
  • heart function
  • kidney function
  • liver function

Your doctor may also do other tests to check for complications of diabetes:

  • eye exam at least annually
  • foot exam at least annually
  • dental exam at least annually
  • tests for nerve damage
  • cholesterol levels
  • blood pressure and heart rate

Your diet

Follow the nutrition plan that your doctor, registered dietician, or diabetes educator recommended.

Hidden costs

In addition to the medication, you may also need to purchase:

  • a machine to test blood sugar at home (blood glucose monitor)
  • alcohol swabs
  • lancets to prick your finger to test your blood sugar
  • blood sugar test strips
  • a needle container for safe disposal of used lancets

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.

SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does glipizide Cost?

Oral tablet

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

Show Sources

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 10, 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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