Generic Name: glyburide-metformin, Oral tablet

Generic Name:

glyburide-metformin, Oral tablet

Glucovance

All Brands

  • Glucovance
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for glyburide-metformin

Oral tablet
1

Glyburide/metformin is an oral drug that’s used to treat type 2 diabetes.

2

While taking this medication, you’ll need to test your blood sugar level. You’ll also need to learn how to spot the symptoms of and treat low and high blood sugar reactions.

3

Make sure to carry a quick source of sugar, such as hard candy or glucose tablets, with you in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar.

4

The standard starting dose is 1.25 mg glyburide/250 mg metformin taken by mouth once or twice per day with meals. Your doctor may adjust your dose depending on your blood sugar levels.

5

Common side effects include diarrhea, dizziness, headache, metallic taste in your mouth, and gas.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA Warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

Lactic acidosis warning. Glyburide/metformin can cause lactic acidosis. Don’t use this drug if you already have lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is a rare problem that happens when oxygen levels in your body drop. This leads to a buildup of lactic acid in your blood stream. It causes symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, and trouble breathing. The condition can sometimes be fatal. Your risk of lactic acidosis may be higher if you have diabetes with kidney damage or heart failure.

Surgery/medical procedures

If you’re going to have surgery, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT) scan, or any other procedure, your doctor may temporarily take you off of glyburide/metformin. Having procedures done that use radiocontrast dyes while taking this drug can cause kidney failure or lactic acidosis.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

Glyburide/metformin can cause severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). This can cause seizures or fainting. It’s important to know how to spot and treat low blood sugar reactions as directed by your doctor. Symptoms may include:

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

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.

Sun sensitivity

Glyburide/metformin can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing whenever you’re in the sun. Don’t use sun lamps or tanning beds or booths.

Drug Features

Glyburide/metformin is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet.

Glyburide/metformin 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.

This is a combination of two or more drugs in a single form. It’s important to know about all the drugs in the combination because each drug may affect you in a different way.

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

Why It's Used

Glyburide/metformin is used to treat type 2 diabetes in adults.

How It Works

Glyburide belongs to a class of drugs called sulfonylureas.

More Details

How It Works

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

Glyburide and metformin work together to improve your blood sugar levels. Glyburide works by helping your body release more insulin. Metformin works by lowering the amount of sugar in your body.

SECTION 2 of 5

glyburide-metformin Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with glyburide/metformin include:

  • diarrhea

  • dizziness

  • headache

  • metallic taste in your mouth

  • gas

If these effects are mild, they may go away 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.

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.

  • allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

    • skin rash
    • itching
    • hives
    • swelling of your face, lips, or tongue
    • problems breathing
  • low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Symptoms may include:

    • confusion
    • increased hunger
    • dizziness
    • feeling anxious
    • sweating
    • shakiness
    • feeling cold
    • irritability
    • headache
    • blurred vision
    • fast heart rate
    • feeling faint or lightheaded
    • loss of consciousness
    • falling
    • unusual weakness or tiredness
  • stomach problems. Symptoms may include:

    • upset stomach
    • stomach pain
  • liver problems. Symptoms may include:

    • dark-colored urine
    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
  • flu-like symptoms. Symptoms may include:

    • fever
    • chills
    • sore throat
  • lactic acidosis. Symptoms may include:

    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • muscle aches and pains
    • problems breathing
  • slow or irregular heart rate

  • unusual bleeding or bruising

Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Glyburide/metformin doesn’t cause drowsiness.

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, repeat the above treatment.
  • Once your blood sugar 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

glyburide-metformin May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Glyburide/metformin 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

Drinking alcohol while taking glyburide/metformin can increase your risk of lactic acidosis. Alcohol may also lower your blood sugar levels and affect how well you can control your diabetes. You should limit how much alcohol you drink while you’re on this drug.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Bosentan (Tracleer)

You shouldn’t take bosentan and glyburide/metformin at the same time. Taking these medications together may damage your liver.  

Antibiotics
  • gatifloxacin

You shouldn’t take glyburide/metformin at the same time as the antibiotic gatifloxacin. Taking these medications together can cause serious changes in your blood sugar.

Drugs for irregular heart rate
  • dofetilide 

Taking dofetilide and glyburide/metformin together can increase your risk of lactic acidosis and irregular heart rate. Your doctor will carefully monitor you if you take these drugs together. The doses of either medication may need to be changed.

Blood thinner drugs
  • warfarin

Using glyburide/metformin with blood thinners can affect how well your body responds to the blood thinner. Your doctor will run tests to see how much your blood is clotting if you’re taking these drugs together. You should watch for symptoms of high or low blood sugar if you’re starting or stopping blood thinners.

Drugs for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis
  • methotrexate

Don’t take methotrexate and glyburide/metformin at the same time. Taking these medications together can cause methotrexate levels to increase in your body and become toxic.

Drugs for dry eyes
  • cyclosporine

Glyburide/metformin can increase the amount of cyclosporine in your body. If you take these drugs together, your doctor will monitor the level of cyclosporine in your body to make sure it’s not toxic. They’ll adjust the dose if needed. You’ll also be watched for signs of high blood sugar.

Drugs for eye infections
  • chloramphenicol

This drug may cause low blood sugar when taken with glyburide/metformin.

Drugs for reflux, nausea, and vomiting
  • metoclopramide

If you’re taking metoclopramide with glyburide/metformin, your dose of glyburide/metformin may need to be changed. This is done to make sure that it’s still controlling your blood sugar.

Antacids
  • cimetidine
  • ranitidine

Taking antacids with glyburide may cause increased effects of glyburide in your body. This can cause symptoms of low blood sugar.

Drugs for fungal or yeast infections
  • fluconazole
  • ketoconazole

Taking antifungal medications with glyburide can increase the levels of glyburide in your body. This can cause symptoms of low blood sugar.

Diuretics
  • hydrochlorothiazide
  • triamterene
  • furosemide
  • bumetanide

Taking diuretics can cause high or low blood sugar in people with diabetes. You should monitor your blood sugar regularly if you’re taking the medications together. Your doctor may change your dose of glyburide/metformin or other diabetes medications.

Aspirin

This drug may cause low blood sugar when taken with glyburide/metformin.

Drugs for seizures and mood disorders
  • lamotrigine 

This drug may cause low blood sugar when taken with glyburide/metformin.

High blood pressure medications
  • reserpine
  • enalapril
  • lisinopril
  • losartan
  • nadolol
  • propranolol
  • clonidine

These drugs may cause low or high blood sugar when they’re taken with glyburide/metformin.

Drugs that treat depression
  • fluoxetine
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as phenelzine and selegeline

These drugs may cause low blood sugar when they’re taken with glyburide/metformin.

Drugs that treat infections and ulcers caused by H. pylori
  • clarithromycin

This drug may cause low blood sugar when taken with glyburide/metformin.

Drugs for tuberculosis
  • rifabutin
  • rifampin

These drugs may cause low blood sugar when they’re taken with glyburide/metformin.

Corticosteroids
  • prednisone

These drugs may cause high blood sugar when they’re taken with glyburide/metformin.

Antipsychotic drugs
  • clozapine
  • Zyprexa
  • Abilify
  • Geodon

These drugs may cause high blood sugar when they’re taken with glyburide/metformin.

Drugs given after an organ transplant
  • tacrolimus

This drug may cause high blood sugar when taken with glyburide/metformin.

Hormone therapy or oral birth control pills
  • estrogen
  • progesterone

These drugs may cause high blood sugar when they’re taken with glyburide/metformin.

Drugs for seizures
  • phenytoin
  • fosphenytoin

These drugs may cause high blood sugar when they’re taken with glyburide/metformin.

Vitamins
  • Niacin

This drug may cause high blood sugar when taken with glyburide/metformin.

Sulfa drugs
  • zonisamide

This drug can increase your risk of lactic acidosis when taken with glyburide/metformin.

Drugs for heart failure and high blood pressure
  • amiloride

This drug can increase your risk of lactic acidosis when taken with glyburide/metformin.

Drugs for hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • lamivudine

This drug can increase your risk of lactic acidosis when taken with glyburide/metformin.

Pain medications
  • morphine 

This drug can increase your risk of lactic acidosis when taken with glyburide/metformin.

Procainamide

This drug can increase your risk of lactic acidosis when taken with glyburide/metformin.

Drugs for urinary tract and other infections
  • trimethoprim 

This drug can increase your risk of lactic acidosis when taken with glyburide/metformin.

Drugs that treat bacterial infections
  • vancomycin

This drug can increase your risk of lactic acidosis when taken with glyburide/metformin.

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 diabetic ketoacidosis

Don’t use glyburide/metformin if you have diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes that happens when your body makes high levels of the blood acids called ketones. This condition should be treated with insulin.

People with type 1 diabetes

Don’t use glyburide/metformin for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Glyburide works by increasing the amount of insulin your pancreas produces. In type 1 diabetes, the body no longer produces insulin, so glyburide won’t help.

People with pernicious anemia

Metformin can decrease how well vitamin B12 is absorbed. In rare cases, this can cause pernicious anemia. If you have a family history of pernicious anemia, a weakened stomach lining, or a specific autoimmune disease where the body attacks the lining of the stomach, you may have a greater risk for this type of anemia. You’ll be monitored for this condition while taking this drug. You’ll need to stop taking it if you develop pernicious anemia.

People with heart problems

If you have a heart condition, your risk of lactic acidosis may be higher. Tell your doctor if you have heart disease or heart failure before you take glyburide/metformin.

People with kidney problems

If you have kidney damage or kidney disease, you have a higher risk of developing lactic acidosis while on glyburide/metformin. You shouldn’t use this drug if you have kidney problems.

People with thyroid problems

Tell your doctor if you have a thyroid disorder because this affects how your body controls your blood sugar levels. Your doctor may need to change the dose of your medications to help control your diabetes and thyroid better.

People with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Women with PCOS often have insulin resistance. Metformin can cause women to ovulate. You may get pregnant if you don’t use reliable forms of birth control.

People with gastrointestinal problems

Tell your doctor if you have severe diarrhea, vomiting, an obstruction of your small or large intestine, or a stomach condition called gastroparesis. If you have any of these conditions, your body may not be able to control your blood sugar as well as it should. You doctor will monitor you closely and adjust your dose if needed.

Pregnant women

Glyburide/metformin is a pregnancy category B drug. This means two things:

  1. Research in animals has not shown a risk to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in humans to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Animal studies do not always predict the way humans would respond. Therefore, this drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed.

Women who are nursing

Glyburide/metformin passes through breast milk and may cause serious effects in a breastfeeding child.

It isn’t recommended to take glyburide/metformin if you’re breastfeeding. You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll take glyburide/metformin or breastfeed.

For Seniors

If you’re 65 years or older, you’re more likely to experience the low blood sugar effects of glyburide. This could lead to hypoglycemic reactions. As you age, your kidneys may not work as well as they once did. If you have reduced kidney function, you may be at increased risk for metformin-related side effects, including lactic acidosis.

For Children

The safety and effectiveness of glyburide/metformin haven’t been established in people younger than 18 years old.

When to call the doctor

You should call your doctor if you are experience signs and symptoms of low blood sugar or high blood sugar. If these symptoms are severe, go to the emergency room.

Symptoms of low blood sugar include:

  • sweating
  • chills
  • feeling nervous or anxious
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • shakiness
  • blurred vision
  • fast heart rate
  • seizures
  • loss of consciousness
  • loss of coordination

Symptoms of high blood sugar include:

  • frequent urination
  • feeling very thirsty or hungry
  • fatigue
  • blurred vision
  • bruises that heal slowly
  • tingling, pain, or numbness in your hands or feet

Allergies

Glyburide/metformin can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • muscle aches
  • joint pain

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 glyburide-metformin (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: 1.25 mg/250 mg, 2.5 mg/500 mg, and 5 mg/500 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18-64 years)
  • Starting dose: 1.25 mg/250 mg taken by mouth once or twice per day with meals
  • Dose adjustments: Your doctor may increase your dose by 1.25 mg/250 mg every two weeks until your blood sugar is controlled.
  • Maximum dose: 10 mg/2000 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)

If you’re 65 years or older, you’re more likely to experience the low blood sugar effects of glyburide. This could lead to blood sugar levels that are too low (hypoglycemia).

As you age, your kidneys may not work as well as they once did. If you have reduced kidney function, you may be at increased risk for metformin-related side effects, including lactic acidosis.

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

Glyburide/metformin comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If You Miss Doses or Don’t Take It at All

If you don’t take glyburide/metformin as prescribed by your doctor, your blood sugar levels won’t be controlled. This can lead to complications from diabetes, such as nerve damage, heart disease, stroke, and eye problems.

If You Take Too Much

If you think that you’ve taken too much glyburide/metformin, go to the emergency room right away or call your local poison control center.

Taking too much glyburide/metformin can lower your blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and cause lactic acidosis.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:

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

Symptoms of lactic acidosis include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • muscle weakness
  • trouble breathing

What to Do If You Miss a Dose

If you miss a dose of glyburide/metformin, take it as soon as your remember. If it’s almost time for your next dose, only take one dose at that time. Don’t take extra doses to make up for the missed dose.

How to Tell If the Drug Is Working

You may be able to tell if glyburide/metformin is working if your blood sugar levels are lower. 

Glyburide/metformin is used for long-term treatment.

Store glyburide/metformin at room temperature from 59–77°F (15–25°C)

Don’t freeze glyburide/metformin.

Keep it away from light and high temperatures.

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 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

You may need to test your blood sugar levels at home using a blood glucose monitor.

You’ll need to learn how to do the following:

  • use a blood glucose monitor to test your blood sugar regularly at home
  • recognize the signs and symptoms of high and low blood sugar
  • treat low and high blood sugar reactions 

In addition to the medication, you may also need:

  • a safe needle disposal container
  • alcohol swabs
  • lancets to prick your finger to test your blood sugar
  • blood sugar test strips
  • blood glucose monitor to test your blood sugar at home

Clinical Monitoring

Before your start and while you take glyburide/metformin, your doctor may check your:

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

Your Diet

Glyburide/metformin is used to treat type 2 diabetes along with diet and exercise. Ask your doctor about how you should change your eating habits.

Sun Sensitivity

Glyburide/metformin can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing whenever you’re in the sun. Don’t use sun lamps or tanning beds or booths.

Hidden Costs

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

  • a safe needle disposal container
  • alcohol swabs
  • lancets to prick your finger to test your blood sugar
  • blood sugar test strips
  • blood glucose monitor to test your blood sugar at home

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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SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does glyburide-metformin Cost?

Oral tablet
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Lowest price for glyburide-metformin

CVS Pharmacy $11.99
Walmart $15.46
Sams Club $15.46
These represent the lowest cash prices for glyburide-metformin and 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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