Generic Name: nateglinide, Oral tablet

Generic Name:

nateglinide, Oral tablet

Starlix

All Brands

  • Starlix
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for nateglinide

Oral tablet
1

Nateglinide is an oral drug used to control blood sugar levels caused by type 2 diabetes. It’s used along with diet and exercise and sometimes other diabetes drugs.

2

Your dose depends on your age, the average of your blood sugar levels over 3 months (A1c), and other health conditions.

3

The most common side effect is cold-like symptoms (upper respiratory tract infection).

4

Nateglinide can also cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Symptoms include sweating, shaking, dizziness, nausea, tiredness, fast heart rate, and hunger. This may be more likely to happen if you skip meals, drink alcohol, exercise intensely or for a long time, or use other drugs that can lower your blood sugar.

5

You shouldn’t use this drug if you have type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. You’ll need to use insulin instead.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Low blood sugar levels

Nateglinide can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). This may be more likely to happen if you skip meals, drink alcohol, exercise intensely or for a long time, or use other drugs that can lower your blood sugar. If you have low blood sugar, you’ll need to treat it right away. Symptoms include:

  • sweating
  • shaking
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • tiredness
  • fast heart rate
  • increased appetite

Not for type 1 diabetes

You shouldn’t use nateglinide if you have type 1 diabetes. For this drug to work, your pancreas has to produce some insulin. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t make any insulin. You’ll need to use insulin instead.

Not for diabetic ketoacidosis

You shouldn’t use nateglinide if you have a complication of diabetes where your body makes high levels of blood acids called ketones (diabetic ketoacidosis). This should be treated with insulin.

Drug features

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

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

Why it's used

Nateglinide is used to control blood sugar levels caused by type 2 diabetes. It’s used along with diet and exercise and sometimes other diabetes drugs.

How it works

Nateglinide belongs to a class of drugs called meglitinides. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly.

More Details

How it works

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

Nateglinide works by increasing the amount of insulin (a hormone in your body) released from your pancreas. Insulin is responsible for moving sugar (glucose) from your bloodstream to the cells, where it belongs. This lowers your blood sugar levels.

SECTION 2 of 5

nateglinide Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with nateglinide include:

  • cold-like symptoms (upper respiratory tract infection), such as:

    • nasal congestion
    • sore throat
  • low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Symptoms include:

    • sweating
    • shaking
    • dizziness
    • nausea
    • tiredness
    • fast heart rate
    • hunger

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any 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.

  • Cold-like symptoms or upper respiratory tract infection. Symptoms include:

    • fever and chills
    • trouble breathing
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Symptoms 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 during sleep
    • seizures
    • loss of consciousness

    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.

Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Nateglinide doesn’t cause drowsiness.

This drug will decrease your blood sugar levels. Nateglinide 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

nateglinide May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Nateglinide 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

You should limit how much alcohol you drink while taking this drug. Alcohol can lower or raise your blood sugar levels.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • ibuprofen
  • naproxen

These drugs may increase the effect of nateglinide. This raises your risk of low blood sugar.

Drugs to treat irregular heart rhythms
  • amiodarone

Taking this drug with nateglinide increases the amount of nateglinide in your body. This raises your risk of low blood sugar.

Drugs to treat fungal infections
  • fluconazole
  • miconazole

Taking these drugs with nateglinide increases the amount of nateglinide in your body. This raises your risk of low blood sugar.

Depression drugs

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as:

  • selegiline
  • phenelzine

These drugs increase the effect of nateglinide. This raises your risk of low blood sugar.

Thiazides

These drugs may reduce how well nateglinide works to lower your blood sugar, so your diabetes may not be controlled.

Heart drugs
  • beta-blockers, such as:
    • propranolol
    • carvedilol
    • timolol
  • salicylates, such as:
    • aspirin

These drugs increase the effect of nateglinide. This raises your risk of low blood sugar.

Seizure drugs
  • phenytoin

This drug may reduce how well nateglinide works to lower your blood sugar, so your diabetes may not be controlled.

Corticosteroids

These drugs may reduce how well nateglinide works to lower your blood sugar, so your diabetes may not be controlled.

Thyroid drugs

These drugs may reduce how well nateglinide works to lower your blood sugar, so your diabetes may not be controlled.

Drugs to treat tuberculosis
  • rifampin

This drug may reduce how well nateglinide works to lower your blood sugar, so your diabetes may not be controlled.

Supplements
  • St John’s wort

This drug may reduce how well nateglinide works to lower your blood sugar, so your diabetes may not be controlled.

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 type 1 diabetes

You shouldn’t use nateglinide if you have type 1 diabetes. You’ll need to use insulin instead.

People with liver problems

If you have liver problems, use nateglinide with caution. Because nateglinide is processed by the liver, the levels of nateglinide in the body might build up if you have liver problems. This could increase your risk for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Pregnant women

Nateglinide 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. Nateglinide should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known if nateglinide passes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause serious effects in a breastfeeding child.

You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll take nateglinide or breastfeed.

For seniors

As you age, your organs (such as your kidneys or liver) may not work as well as they once did. This causes more of the drug to stay in your body, which raises your chances for side effects. Your doctor may start you at a lower dose.

For children

The safety and effectiveness of nateglinide haven’t been established in children under the age of 18 years.

Allergies

Nateglinide can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

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

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 nateglinide (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: nateglinide

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 60 mg, 120 mg

Brand: Starlix

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 60 mg, 120 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • The standard dose is one 120-mg tablet taken by mouth three times per day (before each meal).
  • If your hemoglobin A1c levels are near your goal, your doctor may have you take one 60-mg tablet three times per day (before each meal).
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

Nateglinide hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in people under the age of 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

As you age, your organs (such as your kidneys or liver) may not work as well as they once did. This causes more of the drug to stay in your body, which raises your chances for side effects. Your doctor may start you 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

Nateglinide comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you don't take it at all or stop taking it

Your diabetes won’t be controlled. Over time, high blood sugar levels can harm your eyes, kidneys, nerves, or heart. Severe issues include heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and dialysis, and limb amputations.

If you take too much

You may experience low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Symptoms 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 during sleep
  • seizures
  • loss of consciousness

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, then only take one dose at that time.

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

How to tell if the drug is working

You may be able to tell if this drug is working if your blood sugar levels are lower.

Nateglinide is a long-term drug.

Important considerations for taking nateglinide

You should take nateglinide before eating meals

If you skip a meal, you should also skip your dose of nateglinide. This will reduce your risk of low blood sugar.

Store nateglinide at 77°F (25°C)

Don’t freeze nateglinide.

Keep this drug away from light and high temperature.

Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug 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.
  • Don’t leave this medicine in the car, especially when the temperature is hot or freezing.

Self-management

You will need to monitor your blood sugar levels.

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 high and low blood sugar reactions

While taking this drug you’ll need to test your blood sugar levels. You’ll need to purchase the following:

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

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor may monitor you. Before starting and during treatment with nateglinide, 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.

Your doctor may also do tests to check for possible complications of diabetes, including:

  • eye exam at least once a year
  • foot exam at least once a year
  • dental exam at least once a year
  • tests for nerve damage
  • cholesterol
  • blood pressure and heart rate

Hidden costs

While taking this drug you’ll need to test your blood sugar levels. You’ll need to purchase the following:

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

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for nateglinide.

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 nateglinide Cost?

Oral tablet
We've partnered with GoodRX so you can compare prices and save money on your next prescription. Check out the lowest cash prices below and enter your zip code to find the best deal near you.

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Lowest price for nateglinide

Walgreens $64.83
Rite-Aid $69.67
Walmart $79.96
These represent the lowest cash prices for nateglinide and may be lower than your insurance.

Find the lowest prices of nateglinide near you

These represent the lowest cash prices for nateglinide 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 August 20, 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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