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What is Glyburide?

Glyburide is an oral antidiabetic medicine. It belongs to the sulfonylurea class of drugs which help you regulate your blood sugar levels better. Its generic, or common name is glibenclamide. It is specifically used to treat type 2 diabetes, and is not for treating type 1 diabetes.

Glyburide is also available in combination medications with Metformin. You can buy Metformin tablets here

What is it used for?

Glyburide is used to help you regulate your blood sugar levels. It should be used in addition to a proper diet and regular exercise, as well as healthy weight reduction for those that are overweight.

How does it work?

Glyburide lowers the blood sugar levels in your body by stimulating the pancreas to secrete more insulin. It does so by interacting with cells in the pancreas called beta cells. The beta cells are then stimulated to release insulin, which helps clear sugar from the blood, resulting in lower circulating blood sugar levels. Since the drug stimulates the beta cells in the pancreas it is important that your pancreas can still produce insulin.

How to take this medication

When deciding to use any medicine, the risks of taking it have to be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision both you and your doctor will have to make together.

Glyburide is recommended to be taken with breakfast or the first main meal of the day. Lower initial doses may be used in patients who are more sensitive to blood sugar-lowering drugs. Generally, once-a-day dosing is standard, although you may have a better response with twice-a-day dosing, especially if you are receiving higher doses.

Make sure to take the doses exactly as prescribed by your doctor, following all the directions on the prescription label. Your doctor may sometimes change your dose in order to get better results. Never take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.


For adults with type 2 diabetes, the oral dose begins between 2.5 to 5 milligrams (mg) once a day, taken with breakfast or the first main meal. Your doctor may adjust your dose if needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 20 mg per day. It is not recommended for use in children under the age of 18. In some circumstances use my be acceptable, but the dose must be determined by your doctor.

If you should happen to miss a dose, make sure to take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the dose you missed if it is almost time for your next dose. Never take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Glyburide vs Glipizide

Both Glyburide and Glipizide are both oral drugs prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and are members of the same sulfonylurea family of drugs. Both glipizide and glyburide have contraindications with anti inflammatory medications, alcohol, hormone contraceptives and beta blockers.

The main differences between them are their absorption, dosage and half-life in the body. The recommended daily dose of Glipizide is between 5-40 mg, and Glyburide’s dosage is between 2.5-5.0 mg. Another difference is how quickly they start to work and how long they last for. Glipizide peaks in 1-3 hours and generally lasts 12 hours in most people. Glyburide peaks later, usually in four hours, and stays active in the body for 24 hours.

Usage during pregnancy

There is limited data on the effects of Glyburide on pregnant women, the developing baby, and breast-feeding. Although some studies suggests that negligible levels of this drug are present in breast milk.

Sulfonylureas, like Glyburide , might not be suitable for the treatment of diabetes during pregnancy because of the significant changes that occur during this time make the control of blood sugar very difficult. A retrospective study that looked at employer-based insurance claims reported that babies that were born to mothers who were receiving Glyburide were more likely to experience negative side effects than babies who were born to mothers receiving insulin.

Due to the limited data available and the potential for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) for the nursing infant, the manufacturer suggests that women who are not able to manage their blood sugar levels on diet alone should consider insulin therapy while breastfeeding.

Warnings and Precautions

A proper diet, regular exercise and a healthy reduction in weight (if you are overweight) are always important to help you control your diabetes. Your blood sugar levels may fluctuate in some situations, for example, if you are stressed or sick. If that occurs make sure to tell your doctor, as they might have to change your dose. Glyburide may cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), especially if you miss a meal, strenuously exercise, drink lots of alcohol or use other antidiabetic medications. Elderly patients are generally more likely to experience low blood sugar.

Before you use this medication, talk to your doctor if:

You should not take it if:

Side effects

As with all types of medication, Glyburide is associated with some side effects. Allergic skin reactions, such as itchiness, rash, eruption, have been reported in a number of patients. In general, an increased sensitivity to light has also been associated with the use of all oral antidiabetic drugs. Due to changes in levels of blood sugar, temporary visual disturbances may also occur at the start of treatment.

Get medical help immediately if you show any signs of an allergic reaction, such as a breakout in hives, difficult breathing or swelling of your face, throat, tongue or lips.

Common negative effects may include:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Heartburn
  • Feeling full
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle or joint pain;
  • Blurred vision
  • Mild rash or skin redness

Severe negative effects

Stop using the drug and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Bleeding, such as bleeding gums, nosebleeds or easy bruising
  • Sudden weakness or feeling ill along with fever, chills, mouth sores, sore throat, trouble swallowing and red or swollen gums
  • Problems with your liver
  • Nausea, stomach pains, itching, feeling tired, dark urine, loss of appetite, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), clay-colored stools
  • Confusion, headache, severe weakness, slurring of speech, feeling dizzy, vomiting, feeling dizzy, loss of coordination

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.

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