If you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor might suggest Glucotrol XL as a treatment option for you. It’s a prescription drug used to treat type 2 diabetes in adults. Glucotrol XL is prescribed along with diet and exercise to help manage blood sugar levels.

The active ingredient in Glucotrol XL is glipizide. An active ingredient is what makes a drug work. Glucotrol XL comes as a tablet that you swallow. It belongs to a group of drugs known as sulfonylureas.

This article describes the dosages of Glucotrol XL, as well as its strengths and how to take it. To learn more about Glucotrol XL, see this in-depth article.

But when using Glucotrol XL, always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.

Note: This chart highlights the basics of Glucotrol XL’s dosage. Be sure to read on for more detail.

Typical dosageMinimum dosageMaximum dosage
5 milligrams (mg) taken once daily2.5 mg taken once daily with breakfast or your first meal of the day20 mg taken once daily with breakfast or your first meal of the day

Please keep in mind that this article covers Glucotrol XL’s standard dosage schedule, which is provided by the drug’s manufacturer. But always follow the dosing instructions your doctor prescribes.

If you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor may prescribe Glucotrol XL along with diet and exercise to help manage your blood sugar. Read below for more information about Glucotrol XL’s dosing.

What is Glucotrol XL’s form?

Glucotrol XL comes as an extended-release tablet that you swallow. (Extended release means the active drug is slowly released over a period of time.)

What strengths does Glucotrol XL come in?

Glucotrol XL comes in three strengths: 2.5 milligrams (mg), 5 mg, and 10 mg.

What are the usual dosages of Glucotrol XL?

Your doctor will likely start you on a low dosage and adjust it over time to reach the right amount for you. They’ll ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Dosage for type 2 diabetes

The typical starting dosage of Glucotrol XL for type 2 diabetes is 5 mg taken once daily with breakfast or your first meal of the day. The maximum dosage is 20 mg taken once daily with breakfast or your first meal of the day.

Is Glucotrol XL used long term?

Yes, Glucotrol XL is typically used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that it’s safe and effective for your condition, you’ll likely take it long term.

Dosage adjustments

Your doctor may prescribe a lower dosage of Glucotrol XL if:

  • you are age 65 years or older
  • you have certain health problems or take medications that increase your risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

The dosage of Glucotrol XL you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of the condition you’re using the drug to treat
  • your age
  • other conditions you may have (see “Dosage adjustments” just above)

You’ll take Glucotrol XL once daily in the morning with breakfast. If you don’t eat breakfast, take Glucotrol XL with your first meal of the day.

Swallow the tablets whole. You should not break, crush, or chew them. The tablets are designed to slowly release the active drug into your body over 24 hours. Damaging the tablets causes all the medication to be released at once and can increase your risk of side effects.

You may notice something that looks like a tablet in your stool. This is the empty shell of the tablet, and it’s normal to see it after it passes through your body.

For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Glucotrol XL, see this article.

Accessible drug containers and labels

If you find it hard to read the prescription label on your medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:

  • have large print or use braille
  • feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio

Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.

If you have trouble opening medication bottles, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to supply Glucotrol XL in an easy-open container. They may also have tips to help make it simpler to open the drug’s container.

If you miss a dose of Glucotrol XL, take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose as scheduled. You should not take two doses at once to make up for a missed dose. Doing so increases your risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

If you need help remembering to take your dose of Glucotrol XL on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.

You should not take more Glucotrol XL than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to serious side effects.

Symptoms of overdose

Symptoms caused by an overdose can include hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which may be mild or severe. Mild symptoms can be treated with oral glucose tablets. Severe hypoglycemia is a medical emergency. Symptoms can include:

What to do in case you take too much Glucotrol XL

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Glucotrol XL. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, call 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.

The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Glucotrol XL for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

Remember, you should not change your dosage of Glucotrol XL without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Glucotrol XL exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.

Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • Will my dosage change if Glucotrol XL isn’t working well enough for me?
  • If I take a higher dosage of Glucotrol XL, do I have a higher risk of side effects?
  • Can I take Glucotrol XL along with other medications for type 2 diabetes?

If you have type 2 diabetes, sign up for Healthline’s online newsletter for helpful tips and information. You can also join the Bezzy type 2 diabetes community to connect with others who have this condition.

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 another 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.