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What is Diabeta (Glyburide)?
Diabeta is an oral diabetes medicine that helps you control your blood sugar levels. Its common name, which is also the generic version, is Glyburide, or Glibenclamide. It is prescribed alongside proper dietary management, exercise and weight reduction for adults with type 2 diabetes, and is not for the treatment of type 1 diabetes.
How does Glyburide work?
Glyburide (Diabeta) lowers blood sugar by stimulating the pancreas to secrete insulin. It belongs to a large class of antidiabetic drugs called sulfonylureas. These drugs bind to beta cells in your pancreas and stimulate them to release more insulin into the rest of your body.
How and when to use this medication
Diabeta is used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and not for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. The dose amount and dose schedule may be different for different patients. Always remember to follow your doctor’s orders or the directions on the label. You should take the tablets during or immediately after meals.
The usual dose for adults is between 2.5 to 10 mg taken once a day, but it can be as low as 1.25mg and as high as 20 mg. The tablets should be taken with your breakfast or with your first main meal of the day. A dose of more than 10 mg should be taken in two divided doses. Dose increases should be made in increments of no more than 2.5 mg, at weekly intervals, based upon your blood sugar response. Your doctor may adjust your dose as treatment continues, but the dose is usually not more than 20 mg per day. Dosing for children should be determined individually by your doctor.
If you are transferring from other oral diabetic treatments, you should do so conservatively, with your initial daily dose being between be 2.5 to 5 mg. When transferring from oral diabetic drugs other than Chlorpropamide, there is not usually a transition period, and you may not need an initial priming dose. When transferring from Chlorpropamide, specific care should be applied during the first two weeks because the remaining Chlorpropamide in your body, and the overlapping effects of the drug, may provoke low blood sugar levels.
If you are transferring from more than 40 daily units of insulin, you may be started on a daily dose of 5 mg along with a 50% reduction in insulin. With the progressive withdrawal of insulin, the increase of Diabeta is usually administered in increments of 1.25 to 2.5 mg every two to ten days from then onward.
Daily doses that exceed 20 mg are not recommended.
If you should happen to miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. Although, if it is almost time for your next dose, do not take the missed dose and simply go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take double doses.
Warnings and Precautions
A proper diet, exercise and weight reduction are important to help you control your diabetes. Your blood sugar may change in some situations, however. For example, if you are under stress or suffering from a certain illnesses. During such times, your doctor may need to modify your dose.
Diabeta may cause low blood sugar, especially if you skip a meal, exercise strenuously, drink alcohol or take another antidiabetic medication along with Diabeta. Elderly patients may be more likely to have low blood sugar when taking this medication.
Drugs that can interact with this medication are:
- Diuretics (water pills)
- Corticosteroids (such as prednisone)
- ACE inhibitors (a drug used to treat high blood pressure or hypertension)
- Birth control pills
- Certain kinds of cold and allergy drugs
As with any type of medication, along with its medicinal effects, Diabeta is also associated with some side effects.
Common negative effects include the following:
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Feeling “full”
- Abdominal pain
- Weight gain
- Allergic skin reactions (itchiness, rash, eruption)
- Increased sensibility to light
- Visual disturbances
Possible severe negative effects include:
- Blood disorders (unusual bruising or bleeding)
- Liver problem (yellowing of the eyes or skin)
- Allergic reaction (difficult breathing, hives, decreased blood pressure)
- Allergic inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis)
Talk to your health care provider about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.