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Tolbutamide (Orinase, Tol-Tab)

Tolbutamide is an oral medication used to treat type 2 diabetes. It is used in conjunction with diet and exercise, and often with other drugs. Tolbutamide is only effective in patients whose bodies can produce insulin; therefore, it is not prescribed for those with type 1 diabetes.

Tolbutamide overview

Brand names: Tolbutamide is available only as a generic.

Drug class: Tolbutamide belongs to the class of drugs called sulfonylureas. These drugs work by encouraging the pancreas to release insulin while helping the body use insulin more effectively. Other drugs in this class include glimepiride, glipizide, glyburide and chlorpropamide.

Dosage: This medicine is usually taken once per day, or in smaller doses more than once per day.

Side effects: The most common side effects of tolbutamide can include nausea and heartburn. This medication may also cause hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, which frequent testing of blood sugar can help prevent.

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