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Glibenclamide or glyburide is part of a class of drugs known as antidiabetics, specifically a sulfonylurea. It is used in type 2 diabetes mellitus when your blood sugar cannot be controlled through diet and lifestyle modification alone.

How should I take glibenclamide?

Glibenclamide is available as an oral tablet. The oral tablet should be taken by mouth without chewing or crushing it. The tablets can be taken with a meal, ideally breakfast.

How do I store glibenclamide?

This drug should be stored at room temperature (<30°C) and be protected from light and moisture. For safety, keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Always check the label before using this product. Do not use if the printed expiration date has passed, the product seal has been broken, or the product has changed in color, odor, or consistency.

Do not dispose of this product by pouring it down the drain, toilet, or into the environment. Ask your pharmacist regarding the proper way and location of disposal.

Precautions & Warnings

What should I know before using glibenclamide?

Sulfonylureas, including glibenclamide, are associated with an increased risk of hypoglycemia. This risk is further increased in older patients usually over 60 years of age, regular alcohol drinkers, and those with metabolic conditions.

Before using this medication, inform your doctor if:

  • You have ever had an allergic reaction to glibenclamide or other sulfonylureas or sulfonamides
  • You have a history of allergy to other medications, food, or other substances
  • You are taking other medications, especially other glucose-lowering drugs
  • You have underlying health conditions

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

This drug is a pregnancy category C drug. There have not been any studies done on pregnant women to determine if glibenclamide causes fetal harm. This drug should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus, as determined by your doctor.

This drug may be excreted in breast milk. It may alter the composition or quality of breast milk. This drug should be used while breastfeeding only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the child, as determined by your doctor.

Side Effects

What side effects can occur when using glibenclamide?

All drugs have the potential to elicit side effects even with normal use. Many side effects are dose-related and will resolve when it is adjusted or at the end of therapy.

Potential side effects while using this drug include:

  • Hypoglycemia
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Blood dyscrasias
  • Changes in vision
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH)
  • Disulfiram-like reactions
  • Photosensitivity
  • Porphyria cutanea tarda

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these serious, potentially fatal drug reactions:

  • Adverse cardiovascular events
    • Ischemia and infarction
    • Heart failure
    • Stroke
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS)

You may experience some, none, or other side effects not mentioned above. If you have any concerns about a side effect or it becomes bothersome, consult your doctor or pharmacist.


This drug may interact with other medications. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and inform your doctor and pharmacist.

Known drugs and their interactions with glibenclamide include:

  • Enhanced hypoglycemia with:
    • Other antidiabetics
    • Azapropazone, phenylbutazone
    • Chloramphenicol
    • Ciprofloxacin
    • Co-trimoxazole
    • Sulfonamides
    • Tetracyclines
    • Anticoagulants
    • Disopyramide
    • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
    • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
    • Allopurinol
    • Sulphinpyrazone
    • Probenecid
    • ACE-inhibitors and beta-blockers
    • Testosterone and anabolic steroids
  • Reduced hypoglycemic effect with:
    • Rifampicin
    • Barbiturates
    • Diazoxide
    • Chlorpromazine
    • Loop and thiazide diuretics
    • Oral contraceptives
    • Corticosteroids
    • Thyroid hormones
  • Increased plasma concentration with miconazole and fluconazole
  • Additive effect with clofibrate
  • May increase plasma levels of ciclosporin
  • May alter anticoagulant effects of warfarin
  • Reduced plasma concentration and exposure with colesevelam
  • Increased risk of hepatotoxicity with bosentan (potentially fatal)

If you experience an adverse drug interaction, stop taking this drug and continue taking your other medication. Inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Your dose may need to be adjusted, substituted with another drug, or discontinue using the drug.

Does food or alcohol interact with glibenclamide?

There are no notable interactions with food. This drug should not be taken with alcohol as it may increase the severity of hypoglycemia and cause disulfiram-like reactions.

Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns regarding food-drug interactions.

What health conditions may interact with glibenclamide?

This drug should be taken with caution if you have any of the following conditions or risk factors:

  • G6PD deficiency
  • Adrenal or pituitary insufficiency
  • Prolonged fasting, calorie or glucose-restrictive diet, or excessive exercise
  • Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease
  • Previously undergone gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy
  • Mild to moderate renal or hepatic impairment
  • Malnutrition
  • Elderly patients >70 years old

Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns regarding specific health conditions.


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using glibenclamide.

What is the dose of glibenclamide for an adult?

For type 2 diabetes mellitus

  • Tablet: Take 2.5 to 5 mg per day, increasing by increments of 2.5 mg each week depending on your response. Maximum daily dose of 20 mg.
  • Modified-release tablets: Take 1.5 to 3 mg per day, increasing by increments of 1.5 mg each week depending on your response. Maximum daily dose of 12 mg.
  • All doses should be given with meals or immediately after breakfast.

What is the dose of glibenclamide for a child?

This drug is not recommended for use in children and the recommended dose has not been established. Consult with a doctor or pharmacist for alternatives and more information.

How is glibenclamide available?

This drug is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablets (2.5 mg, 5 mg)

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of this drug, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.


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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Nov 17, 2020
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