This combination medication is prescribed in conjunction with a proper diet and exercise program to manage elevated blood sugar levels in individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Glyburide, which falls under the category of sulfonylureas, functions by facilitating the release of your body’s natural insulin, as well as reducing the amount of sugar produced by your liver. The second medication, metformin, works by decreasing the production of sugar in your liver and the absorption of sugar in your stomach and intestines. Both of these medications collaborate to restore your body’s appropriate response to the insulin naturally produced by your system.
Uses and Dosage
Take this medication orally with meals, usually once or twice a day. While on this medication, ensure you drink plenty of fluids, unless specifically advised otherwise by your doctor.
The prescribed dosage is determined based on your medical condition and how your body responds to the treatment. To minimize the risk of side effects like upset stomach and low blood sugar, your doctor might instruct you to begin with a low dose and gradually increase it. Your doctor will continually adjust your dosage depending on your blood sugar levels, ensuring the most suitable dose for your needs. Comply diligently with your doctor’s guidance.
If you are already using another diabetes drug, such as chlorpropamide, follow your doctor’s precise instructions for discontinuing the previous drug and initiating this combination medication.
If you are also taking colesevelam, take glyburide/metformin at least 4 hours before colesevelam.
Consistently use this medication to maximize its benefits. To aid in remembering, take it at the same time(s) daily.
It may take up to 2 weeks before you experience the full benefits of this drug. Should your condition not improve or worsen (e.g., if your blood sugar remains too high or too low), promptly inform your doctor.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- stomach pain
- nausea or vomiting
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- chest pain
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- light-colored stools
- dark urine
- pain in the right upper part of the stomach
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- sore throat
- swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, or throat
Before taking this medication, inform your doctor or pharmacist about any allergies you have, especially if you are allergic to glyburide or metformin, or if you have any other allergies. This product might contain inactive ingredients that could lead to allergic reactions or other issues.
Prior to using this medication, share your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you have kidney disease, liver disease, conditions that may result in low blood oxygen levels or poor circulation, serious infection, severe dehydration, alcohol use, severe breathing problems, blood problems, electrolyte imbalance (hyponatremia), fertility problems, certain hormonal conditions, or a specific nervous system problem (autonomic neuropathy).
Before undergoing surgery or any X-ray/scanning procedure involving iodinated contrast, inform your doctor or dentist about all the products you use, including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products. You might need to temporarily discontinue this medication for the surgery/procedure.
In case of extremely low or high blood sugar, you may experience blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness. Avoid driving, using machinery, or engaging in activities that require alertness or clear vision until you are certain you can perform them safely.
While on this medication, limit alcohol consumption as it can increase the risk of developing low blood sugar and lactic acidosis. Rarely, alcohol can interact with glyburide and cause a severe reaction known as a disulfiram-like reaction, characterized by symptoms like facial flushing, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or stomach pain.
During periods of stress on your body (e.g., fever, infection, injury, or surgery), it might be more challenging to control your blood sugar. In such cases, consult your doctor, as it may necessitate a change in your treatment plan, medications, or blood sugar testing.
This medication might heighten your sensitivity to the sun. Limit your time in the sun, avoid tanning booths and sunlamps, and use sunscreen and protective clothing when outdoors. If you get sunburned or develop skin blisters/redness, inform your doctor promptly.
Older adults may be more susceptible to the side effects of this drug, particularly lactic acidosis or low blood sugar.
This medication can influence the menstrual cycle, promoting ovulation and increasing the risk of pregnancy. Consult your doctor or pharmacist regarding the use of reliable birth control while taking this medication.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly necessary. Pregnancy can either cause or exacerbate diabetes. Discuss a plan with your doctor for managing your blood sugar during pregnancy. Your doctor might consider substituting insulin for this product during pregnancy. If you are using glyburide during pregnancy, your doctor may switch you to insulin at least 2 weeks before the expected delivery date due to the risk of glyburide causing low blood sugar in your newborn. Weigh the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is uncertain whether glyburide passes into breast milk, while metformin does pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Glucovance is available in the following forms and strengths:
glyburide and metformin tablet:
When is the best time to take Glucovance?
Take Glucovance immediately before your meal. This will reduce the chances of you having an upset stomach or a hypoglycaemic episode.
Can I take Glucovance on an empty stomach?
It’s best to take metformin tablets with, or just after, your evening meal to reduce the chance of getting side effects.