Sulfonylureas - Benefits, dosage and side effects

Sulfonylureas are antidiabetic drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes. Sulfonylureas are available in tablet form and should only be used as prescribed by a doctor.

Sulfonylureas or sulfonylureas are oral antidiabetic drugs that function to lower high blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients. These drugs work by stimulating the pancreas to produce more insulin and helping the body use insulin more efficiently.

The use of sulfonylureas needs to be combined with the application of a healthy diet and regular exercise in order to reduce the risk of complications of diabetes, such as stroke or heart disease.

Sulfonylureas cannot be used to treat type 1 diabetes, because these drugs can only lower blood sugar in patients who are able to produce insulin naturally in their bodies.

Warnings Before Taking Sulfonylureas

Sulfonylureas should only be used according to a doctor's prescription. There are several things that must be considered before using this drug, including:

  • Do not take a sulfonylurea if you are allergic to this drug. Always tell your doctor about any allergies you have.
  • Tell your doctor if you have type 1 diabetes. Sulfonylureas should not be used in patients with this condition.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease, liver disease, porphyria, or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency disease (G6PD deficiency).
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements, or herbal products.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.
  • Tell your doctor that you are taking treatment with a sulfonylurea before having any medical procedures, including dental work or surgery.
  • Avoid exposure to direct sunlight for a long time and use sunscreen if going out during the day. This is because some types of sulfonylureas can cause the skin to become more sensitive to sunlight.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are taking sulfonylureas, as this can increase the risk of side effects from these drugs.
  • See a doctor immediately if you have an allergic reaction to the drug or an overdose after taking a sulfonylurea.

Side Effects and Dangers of Sulfonylureas

One of the side effects that can occur after using sulfonylurea drugs is low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). Some of the symptoms of hypoglycemia are:

  • A cold sweat
  • Dizzy
  • Shaky
  • Flustered
  • Confused

Some of the other side effects of sulfonylureas are:

  • Hungry
  • Nauseous
  • Weight gain
  • Stomach ache
  • Dark urine

Immediately see a doctor if the side effects mentioned above do not subside or get worse. You should also see a doctor immediately if you have an allergic reaction to the drug, which can be characterized by an itchy rash, swelling of the eyelids and lips, or difficulty breathing, after using a sulfonylurea.

Types, Trademarks and Dosage of Sulfonylureas Drugs

Sulfonylureas are classified into 2, namely first generation and second generation sulfonylureas. However, the first generation sulfonylureas which include tolbutamide and chlorpropamide are currently deprecated.

The following are the types of drugs that are included in the second generation sulfonylureas, along with their trademarks and dosages:

1. Glibenclamide or glyburide

Trademark: Daonil, Fimediab, Glibenclamide, Glidanil, Glucovance, Harmida, Hisacha, Latibet, Prodiabet, Prodiamel, Renabetic, Trodeb

To find out the dosage and more information about this drug, please visit the glibenclamide drug page.

2. Gliclazide

Trademark: Diamicron, Fonylin MR, Gliclazide, Glicab, Glucored, Glidabet, Glidex, Glicamel, Glucolos, Gored, Linodiab, Meltika, Pedab, Xepabet

To find out the dosage and more information about this drug, please visit the gliclazide drug page.

3. Glimepiride

Trademark: Amadiab, Amaglu, Amaryl, Amaryl-M, Anpiride, Diaversa, Friladar, Glamarol, Gliaride, Glimefion, Glimepix, Glimepiride, Glimetic, Glucokaf, Glucoryl, Glucovel, Gluvas, Lapigim, Metrix, Norizec, Paride M-Plus, Relide , Velacom, Velacom Plus, Versibet

To find out the dosage and more information about this drug, please visit the glimepiride drug page.

4. Glipizide

Trademark: Glucotrol XL

Conventional tablets or regular tablets: Initial dose of 5 mg once daily taken after breakfast. The dose can be increased gradually from 2.5 or 5 mg based on blood sugar levels. The maximum dose is 20 mg per day.

5. Gliquidone

Trademarks: Glurenorm, Gliquidone, Lodem

To find out the dosage and more information about this drug, please visit the gliquidone drug page.