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Glucotrol XL (Generic Glipizide)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Glucotrol XL is a brand name for the medication glipizide, which is a type of medication called a sulfonylurea. It is primarily prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes. Glipizide works by stimulating the pancreas to produce more insulin and helping the body use insulin more effectively, thereby lowering blood sugar levels.

How should this medicine be used?

Here’s how Glucotrol XL is typically used:

  • Dosage: The dosage of Glucotrol XL can vary depending on individual circumstances such as the severity of diabetes, response to treatment, and other medications being taken. It’s essential to follow the dosage prescribed by your healthcare provider.
  • Administration: Glucotrol XL is usually taken orally, with or without food. It is typically taken once daily with breakfast or the first main meal of the day. The extended-release formulation of Glucotrol XL is designed to slowly release the medication into the body over time.
  • Do Not Crush or Chew: Glucotrol XL tablets should be swallowed whole and not crushed, chewed, or broken. Breaking the tablet could result in an immediate release of too much medication, which could be harmful.
  • Regular Monitoring: While taking Glucotrol XL, regular monitoring of blood sugar levels is essential to ensure the medication is working effectively and to prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).
  • Compliance with Diet and Exercise: Glucotrol XL is often used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise. It’s essential to follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations regarding diet and exercise while taking Glucotrol XL.
  • Adherence to Medical Advice: Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions precisely when taking Glucotrol XL. Do not adjust your dosage or stop taking the medication without consulting your healthcare provider first.

It’s important to note that Glucotrol XL should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for diabetes, which may include other medications, lifestyle changes, and regular monitoring by healthcare professionals.

Other uses for this medicine

Some off-label uses of Glucotrol XL may include:

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS: Glucotrol XL may be used off-label in some cases to help manage insulin resistance associated with PCOS.
  • Gestational Diabetes: In certain situations, Glucotrol XL may be used off-label to help manage gestational diabetes, a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy.
  • Hyperinsulinemic Hypoglycemia: Glucotrol XL may be used off-label to help manage hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia, a condition characterized by abnormally high levels of insulin leading to low blood sugar levels.

What special precautions should I follow?

As for special precautions when using Glucotrol XL:

  • Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar): Glucotrol XL can cause hypoglycemia, especially if not taken with adequate food intake or if the dosage is too high. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, blurred vision, dizziness, tingling hands/feet, and hunger. Be aware of these symptoms and have a source of sugar readily available to raise blood sugar levels if needed.
  • Liver and Kidney Function: Inform your healthcare provider if you have any liver or kidney problems, as dosage adjustments may be necessary.
  • Alcohol: Limit alcohol intake while taking Glucotrol XL, as it can increase the risk of hypoglycemia.
  • Other Medications: Inform your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, as they may interact with Glucotrol XL and affect its effectiveness or increase the risk of side effects.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Inform your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, as the safety of Glucotrol XL during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been well-established.
  • Hypersensitivity: If you have a known hypersensitivity to sulfonylureas, avoid using Glucotrol XL.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and guidance when taking Glucotrol XL, and report any concerning symptoms or side effects promptly.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Regarding special dietary instructions for Glucotrol XL:

  • Consistent Meal Timing: Try to eat meals at regular intervals throughout the day to help maintain consistent blood sugar levels.
  • Balanced Diet: Follow a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods from different food groups, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid excessive consumption of sugary or high-carbohydrate foods, as they can affect blood sugar levels.
  • Carbohydrate Monitoring: Monitor carbohydrate intake and distribute it evenly throughout meals to help manage blood sugar levels.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget a dose of Glucotrol XL:

  • Take it as soon as you remember: If it is still several hours before your next scheduled dose, take the missed dose immediately and continue with your regular dosing schedule.
  • Skip the missed dose if it’s almost time for your next dose: If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed one.
  • Do not take extra doses: Do not take extra doses of Glucotrol XL to make up for a missed dose, as this can increase the risk of hypoglycemia.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Glucotrol XL (glipizide) can cause various side effects, although not everyone experiences them. Common side effects may include:

  • Hypoglycemia: One of the most common side effects of Glucotrol XL is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Symptoms of hypoglycemia include sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, blurred vision, dizziness, tingling hands/feet, and hunger.
  • Weight Gain: Some individuals may experience weight gain while taking Glucotrol XL.
  • Gastrointestinal Disturbances: This may include nausea, diarrhea, or stomach upset.
  • Skin Reactions: Rarely, Glucotrol XL can cause skin reactions such as rash or itching.
  • Allergic Reactions: Although rare, some people may experience allergic reactions to Glucotrol XL, which can manifest as rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
  • Liver Function Abnormalities: Glucotrol XL may cause liver function abnormalities in some individuals, although this is uncommon.
  • Blood Disorders: Glucotrol XL may rarely cause blood disorders such as thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) or leukopenia (low white blood cell count).
  • Vision Changes: Some individuals may experience changes in vision while taking Glucotrol XL.
  • Photosensitivity: Glucotrol XL may increase sensitivity to sunlight, leading to sunburn more easily.
  • Other Side Effects: Other less common side effects may include headache, dizziness, fatigue, or nervousness.

It’s essential to discuss any concerns or side effects you experience with your healthcare provider. Additionally, if you experience severe or persistent side effects, seek medical attention promptly. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dosage or recommend alternative treatments based on your individual response to Glucotrol XL.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?


  • Keep Glucotrol XL tablets in their original packaging or container to protect them from light and moisture.
  • Store Glucotrol XL at room temperature, away from heat and direct sunlight.
  • Keep the medication out of reach of children and pets, as accidental ingestion can be harmful.


  • Dispose of expired or unused Glucotrol XL tablets properly. Do not flush them down the toilet or pour them down the drain unless instructed to do so.
  • Consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance on how to dispose of medications safely. Many communities have drug take-back programs or special disposal methods available.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • If you suspect an overdose of Glucotrol XL, seek immediate medical attention or contact your local poison control center.
  • Symptoms of Glucotrol XL overdose may include hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can manifest as sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, blurred vision, dizziness, tingling hands/feet, and hunger.
  • Be prepared to provide information about the amount of medication ingested and any symptoms experienced.

What other information should I know?

  • Glucotrol XL should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for type 2 diabetes, which may include dietary changes, exercise, and regular monitoring of blood sugar levels.
  • Inform all healthcare providers involved in your care, including dentists and specialists, that you are taking Glucotrol XL.
  • Attend regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to monitor your response to Glucotrol XL and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.
  • Carry identification or wear a medical alert bracelet indicating that you have diabetes and are taking Glucotrol XL, in case of emergency situations.
  • Keep a source of fast-acting sugar (such as glucose tablets or gel) with you at all times to treat hypoglycemia if it occurs.
  • Do not change your dosage of Glucotrol XL or stop taking it without consulting your healthcare provider, as sudden changes can affect blood sugar control.
  • If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the risks and benefits of Glucotrol XL with your healthcare provider, as the safety of the medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been well-established.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and guidance when using Glucotrol XL and consult them if you have any questions or concerns.

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