Glipizide (Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL)

Glipizide has been used for nearly 30 years to treat diabetes patients. According to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, glipizide can reduce A1C by one point.

Glipizide overview

Brand names: Pfizer manufacturers two brands of glipizide:

  • Glucotrol
  • Glutrocol XL, an extended-release tablet

Generic forms of glipizide are also available.

Drug class: Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL belong to the sulfonylurea class of drugs. Others in this class include glimepiride (brand name, Amaryl) and glyburide (marketed as Diabeta, Glynase Prestab and Micronase). Sulfonylureas help the pancreas produce more insulin and the body use that insulin more effectively to reduce blood sugar levels.

Dosage: Glucotrol is an oral tablet taken 30 minutes prior to a meal. Dosage varies depending on the patient's blood sugar levels and response, but initial treatment generally begins with 5 mg per day.

Side effects: Common side effects of Glucotrol include diarrhea, nausea, dizziness and headache, as well as weight gain. This drug is three to five times more likely to cause unsafe low blood sugar than other diabetes medications. However, glipizide can be an effective way to keep blood sugar levels within a target range.

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