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Taking Glucotrol XL: dosage, weight loss, precautions and side effects

Glipizide is in a class of diabetic medications called sulfonylureas. In the US, it's sold under the brand name, Glucotrol, and then the extended release form, Glucotrol XL. What it does, it causes the pancreas to secrete more insulin. It also appears to reduce the amount of glucose produced by the liver, and then, over time, as you take this, there may be some insulin sensitivity that's improved.

Glucotrol XL price

The price of Glucotrol XL is approximately 29.5-97.3 euros per tablet. It depends on the size of the container.

Doses of Glucotrol

The regular release, you start with five to 10 milligrams per day, generally split into two doses, not exceeding 40 milligrams a day. And the dose is best on an empty stomach, 30 minutes before eating. Extended release, usually in that five to 10 milligram per day range, but we're looking at a max usually of 20 milligrams a day on the extended release, and that is typically taken with breakfast. And when you are affecting your blood sugar, it really is good if you can monitor that to make sure it's effective and to watch that it doesn't take your blood sugar too low.

Side effects

Some of the common side effects we can see with glucotrol, people will complain of fatigue or low energy, low blood sugar, potentially seriously low blood sugar, nausea, dizziness, tremor. It can cause diarrhea or constipation depending on the person. As a whole, most people do fine with this medicine, so we don't see a ton of these happening, but you just need to be aware of them. Anxiety, insomnia, and others can occur. Rarely we can see some liver toxicity, a disulfiram-like reaction. You'd be aware of the side effects, so if you notice them, you can talk to your provider, your GP, your doctor, your nurse practitioner, and just discuss the potential side effects you may be having.

What about Glipizide and Metformin?

They are often used together. Metformin is typically our first-line agent for type 2 diabetics or even pre-diabetes, and then when that's not enough, they will then add in the glipizide, because they work in different ways to control blood sugar, so we do see them used together. And glipizide is usually... It's most effective early in the disease of type 2 diabetes. As your pancreas starts to wear out, it becomes less and less effective. So the longer you've had type 2 diabetes, potentially, the less useful glipizide will be for you.

Glipizide and weight gain

Weight gain can occur with a sulfonylurea. Simply increasing the amount of insulin circulating in the system. Insulin can promote fat storage so you can put on weight with this medication. If that's a concern, be sure to chat with your doctor about that. What about sulfa allergy? Yes, it is not recommended if you have a true sulfonamide allergy. So you can kind of chat with your doctor, your healthcare provider, determine whether you had a true allergy, whether they want to try it, or if it's not worth the risk and you need to try something different.

Low blood sugar

If for some reason you're not going to eat, if you're sick and just not going to take in any food or calories over the day, it's generally recommended that you skip your glipizide dose because it can just drop your blood sugar too low. So the symptoms that we want to watch for of low blood sugar would be you're just nauseous, you're sweating. If it's really bad, you can lose consciousness. You can be shaky, tremor, lightheaded, all signs of low blood sugar. Hopefully you have a blood sugar meter, you can check your blood sugar. Consult your doctor for more information.


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