Metformin may rarely cause a serious. life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis. Tell your doctor if you are over 80 years old and if you have ever had a heart attack; stroke; diabetic ketoacidosis (blood sugar that is high enough to cause severe symptoms and requires emergency treatment) or coma; or heart, kidney, or liver disease.
Tell your doctor if you have recently had any of the following conditions, or if you develop them during treatment: serious infection; severe diarrhea, vomiting, or fever; or if you drink much less fluid than usual for any reason. You may have to stop taking glyburide and metformin until you recover.
If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, any x-ray procedure in which dye is injected, or any major medical procedure, tell the doctor that you are taking glyburide and metformin. You may need to stop taking glyburide and metformin before the procedure and wait 48 hours to restart treatment. Your doctor will tell you exactly when you should stop taking glyburide and metformin and when you should start taking it again.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop taking glyburide and metformin and call your doctor immediately: extreme tiredness, weakness, or discomfort; nausea; vomiting; stomach pain; decreased appetite; deep and rapid breathing or shortness of breath; dizziness; lightheadedness; fast or slow heartbeat; flushing of the skin; muscle pain; or feeling cold.
Tell your doctor if you regularly drink alcohol or sometimes drink large amounts of alcohol in a short time (binge drinking). Drinking alcohol increases your risk of developing lactic acidosis or may cause a decrease in blood sugar. Consuming alcohol while taking glyburide and metformin also rarely may cause symptoms such as flushing (reddening of the face), headache, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, weakness, blurred vision, mental confusion, sweating, choking, breathing difficulty, and anxiety. Ask your doctor how much alcohol is safe to drink while you are taking glyburide and metformin.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain tests to check your body's response to glyburide and metformin. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking glyburide and metformin.
The combination of glyburide and metformin is used to treat type 2 diabetes (condition in which the body does not use insulin normally and therefore cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood) in people whose diabetes cannot be controlled by diet and exercise alone. Glyburide belongs to a class of drugs called sulfonylureas, and metformin is in a class of drugs called biguanides. Glyburide lowers blood sugar by causing the pancreas to produce insulin (a natural substance that is needed to break down sugar in the body) and helping the body use insulin efficiently. This medication will only help lower blood sugar in people whose bodies produce insulin naturally. Metformin helps your body control the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. It decreases the amount of glucose you absorb from your food and the amount of glucose made by your liver. It also helps your body use its own insulin more effectively. Glyburide and metformin are not used to treat type 1 diabetes (condition in which the body does not produce insulin and therefore cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood) or diabetic ketoacidosis (a serious condition that may occur if high blood sugar is not treated).
Glyburide and metformin combination comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken one to two times daily with meals. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take glyburide and metformin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of glyburide and metformin and may gradually increase your dose, not more than once every 2 weeks. depending on your response. Monitor your blood glucose closely.
Glyburide and metformin combination controls diabetes but does not cure it. Continue to take glyburide and metformin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking glyburide and metformin without talking to your doctor.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Be sure to follow all exercise and dietary recommendations made by your doctor or dietitian. It is important to eat a healthful diet.
Before you start taking glyburide and metformin, ask your doctor what to do if you forget to take a dose or accidentally take an extra dose. Write these directions down so you can refer to them later.
As a general rule, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
nausea or vomiting
yellowing of the skin or eyes
pain in the right upper part of the stomach
unusual bleeding or bruising
swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, or throat
In one study, people who took a medication similar to glyburide to treat their diabetes were more likely to die of heart problems than people who were treated with insulin and diet changes.
Some female laboratory animals given high doses of metformin developed non-cancerous polyps (abnormal growths of tissue) in the uterus (womb). It is not known if metformin increases the risk of polyps in humans.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from light, excess heat, and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
loss of consciousness
deep, rapid breathing
shortness of breath
abnormally fast or slow heartbeat
flushing of the skin
Your doctor will tell you how to check your response to glyburide and metformin by measuring your blood sugar levels at home. Follow these instructions carefully.
You should always wear a diabetic identification bracelet to be sure you get proper treatment in an emergency.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 09/15/2012
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2013. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.