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Side Effects of Glipizide (Glucotrol)


Glucotrol (Glipizide) Side Effects

Description: Glucotrol (often sold under its generic name glipizide) is an oral diabetes medicine belonging to a group of medications called sulphonylureas, which help to control blood sugar levels. Glipizide is used together with diet and exercise to treat type 2 diabetes (a condition in which the body does not use insulin normally and, therefore, cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood). Insulin or other diabetes medicines are sometimes used in combination with Glipizide.

Serious Side Effects

According to the Glucotrol XL label as reported by the FDA, Cardiovascular mortality is a serious reaction that sends many to the hospital. Glipizide may alo cause blood sugars to drop to dangerous levels (a condition known as hypoglycemia). This can happen if you exercise excessively, consume alcohol, experience psychological stress, get sick, or if your dose of glipizide is higher than you need. Be sure you are able to recognize your body’s signs of hypoglycemia. These signs include: a cold clammy feeling, hunger, unusual sweating, fast heartbeat, dizziness, headache, weakness, blurred vision, slurred speech, tremor, shakiness, tingling in the lips or hands. Glucotrol also can cause hemolytic anemia (fast breakdown of red blood cells).


Other serious adverse reactions include:

  • Renal and hepatic disease
  • Loss of control of blood glucose
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Common Side Effects

    The most commonly reported reactions according to the Glucotrol XL label include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Tremor
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Blurred vision
  • Pruritus
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Leg cramps
  • Less Common Side Effects

    These reactions are rare according to the Glucotrol XL label:
    hypertonia, confusion, vertigo, somnolence, gait abnormality and decreased libido, anorexia and trace blood in stool, pharyngitis and dyspnea, pain in the eye, conjunctivitis and retinal hemorrhage.

    Understand Your Risk for Side Effects with the Pharmacogenetic Testing Program

    Pharmacogenetic testing is the study of how gene variants affect the processing of pharmaceutical agents in the body. PGx testing carries the benefit of identifying people who are deficient in G6PD, and thus, are at high risk of experiencing a serious side effect such as hemolytic anemia or hypoglycemia. PGx testing can identify individuals with low liver enzyme activity who are potentially more prone to experience glipizide adverse effects.

    How Does Pharmacogenetic Testing Work?

    Rxight® PGx (pharmacogenetic) testing analyzes 18 genes to determine your individual metabolism of over 200 common prescription medications and over-the-counter products across nearly 50 medication classes. It is the most comprehensive PGx panel available on the market. The results of the Rxight® pharmacogenetic analysis, helps determine the dosing and efficacy of these medications and thus allows patients, pharmacists and providers to devise the safest and most beneficial plan of treatment. It requires a simple DNA sample from a cheek swab at your participating pharmacy which is sent to our lab for analysis, after which your results will be reviewed with you in detail so your prescriber can make dosing adjustment accordingly, or find an alternative medication if needed.


    Contributors to this Article:
    Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry


    Read more about Rxight® genetic testing for drug metabolism