Glyburide vs Glipizide – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Differences


It is the generic version of the brand-name drugs Micronase, DiaBeta, and Glynase PresTab. This drug causes the pancreas to release more insulin into the bloodstream.

Insulin is a hormone that is produced naturally in the human body, more exactly by the pancreas. Insulin helps to control the levels of sugar in the blood.


It is used along with a low-fat diet and physical exercise, and occasionally with other medications for diabetes (like metformin), to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition that affects how the human body uses glucose (sugar). It is typically diagnosed in middle-aged adults, however, anyone can develop this condition. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes mellitus may include:

  • frequent urination;
  • increased thirst;
  • blurred vision;
  • increased hunger, particularly after eating;
  • loss of consciousness;
  • headaches;
  • dry mouth;
  • recurrent infections, like thrush infections;
  • fatigue;
  • unexplained weight loss.

Moreover, this medication can be given to women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), a type of diabetes which occurs during pregnancy and typically goes away after the baby is born.

Note – you shouldn’t take this medication if you have diabetic ketoacidosis (a life-threatening complication experienced by individuals with diabetes that occurs when your body starts running out of insulin) or type 1 diabetes (when the body’s immune system attacks part of its own pancreas).


For people with type 2 diabetes, the initial recommended dose is 2.5-5 mg per day. The maintenance dose is 1.25-20 mg per day. Do not to exceed 20 mg per day.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • joint pain;
  • feeling full;
  • blurred vision;
  • heartburn;
  • skin redness;
  • upset stomach;
  • mild rash;
  • muscle pain;
  • nausea.

Rare side effects may include:

  • easy bruising;
  • a sore throat;
  • swollen gums;
  • chills;
  • easy bleeding;
  • fever;
  • mouth sores;
  • ill feeling;
  • feeling unsteady;
  • sudden weakness;
  • burning in your eyes;
  • swelling of the face or tongue;
  • a breakdown of the outer layer of skin;
  • confusion;
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes;
  • headaches;
  • blisters;
  • red or purple skin rash that spreads;
  • skin pain;
  • slurred speech;
  • severe weakness;
  • itching;
  • vomiting;
  • clay-colored stools;
  • loss of coordination;
  • dark urine;
  • loss of appetite;
  • upper stomach pain.

To make sure this drug is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • a nerve disorder affecting bodily functions;
  • a lack of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia);
  • an allergy to any type of medication;
  • kidney disease;
  • glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency;
  • hormone disorders involving the adrenal, pituitary, or thyroid glands;
  • liver disease.

Do not operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication affects you. It is known to cause blurred vision and dizziness.


It is the generic version of the brand-name drug Glucotrol.

Glipizide belongs to a group of drugs called sulfonylureas, which help lower blood sugar levels by causing the pancreas to secrete insulin.


This prescription medication is used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus, helping to control blood sugar levels. It is occasionally used along with other anti-diabetic drugs to achieve better control of high blood glucose levels.

Note – this medication does not cure type 2 diabetes.


The usual recommended initial dose is 5 mg, given before breakfast.

Note – patients with liver disease may be started on 2.5 mg.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Glucotrol

Common side effects may include:

  • skin redness, rash, or itching;
  • mild nausea;
  • drowsiness;
  • dizziness;
  • constipation;
  • diarrhea.

Rare side effects may include:

  • confusion;
  • rapid heart rate;
  • a feeling like you might pass out;
  • sweating or thirst;
  • bleeding gums;
  • nosebleeds;
  • fast or pounding heartbeats;
  • feeling tired or short of breath;
  • vomiting;
  • fever;
  • severe nausea;
  • loss of appetite;
  • pale skin;
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes;
  • a throbbing headache;
  • clay-colored stools;
  • dark urine;
  • upper stomach pain.

To be sure that this medication is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider:

  • if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any type of medicine;
  • if you are breastfeeding a baby;
  • if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant;
  • if you are taking any other medicines which are available to buy with a prescription, over-the-counter medicines as well as complementary and herbal medicines;
  • if you have problems with your adrenal pituitary glands;
  • if you have porphyria or glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency;
  • if you have liver problems;
  • if you have kidney problems.

Glyburide vs Glipizide – Differences

Glyburide (brand names – Micronase, DiaBeta, and Glynase PresTab) is an oral diabetes drug that helps control blood sugar (glucose) levels. It belongs to a class of drugs called sulfonylureas, that stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin.

Glipizide (brand name – Glucotrol) is in a class of drugs called sulfonylureas that work by stimulating the release of insulin from the pancreas.

Both these medicines provide treatment for patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. According to studies, glyburide stays active in the human body for about 24 hours and peaks usually in four hours after intake. On the other hand, glipizide stays active in the human body for about 12 hours and peaks in 1-3 hours after intake.

The real problem is that these medications don’t treat type 2 diabetes and have many side effects.

5 Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar

#1 Physical Exercise

Regular physical exercise helps lower blood sugar levels by forcing the muscles to use sugar (in the form of glycogen) for energy. Plus, it increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Exercising 4 times every seven days for about 60 minutes per session provides the most beneficial effects, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

#2 Cinnamon

Cinnamon contains natural active compounds which improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar. Moreover, a daily intake of cinnamon lowers LDL and total cholesterol levels, major risk factors for type 2 diabetes mellitus.

#3 Basil

Diabetics who intake an extract from basil leaf have reduced blood glucose levels, as per a 2012 study.

#4 Healthy Sleeping Patterns

A lack of sleep drives up cortisol levels because your body perceives it as a stress. Aim for 7 hours of sleep per night.

#5 Nutrition

Soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels by delaying stomach emptying, therefore,  improving the regulation of blood sugar, slowing the rate of carbohydrate absorption, and lowering your body’s insulin needs.

Foods rich in fiber include – figs, pecans, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, chickpeas, red kidney beans, wild rice, corn, sweet potatoes, walnuts, and sesame seeds.

Image source – @Getty & Shutterstock

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