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Jan 22, 2024



Using Glipizide for Type 2 Diabetes

What is Glipizide?

Glipizide is a medicine used to manage type 2 diabetes, alongside diet and exercise. While it's not always the first choice for treatment, glipizide can be beneficial for some people, especially if they can't use other diabetes medicines. However, it's important to note that glipizide isn't suitable for treating type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious diabetes complication.

How Glipizide Helps with Type 2 Diabetes

Glipizide belongs to a group of drugs called sulfonylureas. These drugs are designed to help manage type 2 diabetes by interacting with the body's natural processes for controlling blood sugar. Normally, when your blood sugar is high, like after you eat, your body releases insulin. This hormone helps to process and store the sugar from your food. In people with type 2 diabetes, this system doesn't work properly.

Glipizide steps in to boost insulin release, helping your body to use up the sugar in your meals more effectively. This action helps bring your blood sugar levels back to normal.

Side Effects and Risks

Common Side Effects of Glimepiride

While taking glipizide, you might experience some side effects. Although these aren't common for everyone, it's good to be aware of what could happen. The most frequently reported side effects include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Tremor (shaky movements)
  • Weight gain
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

A Closer Look at Low Blood Sugar Risks

A key point to remember about glipizide is its primary function: to lower blood sugar levels. Sometimes, it might work a bit too effectively, leading to dangerously low blood sugar. This condition, known as hypoglycemia, needs careful monitoring. To manage this risk:

  • Always take glipizide with your morning meal. This helps balance its blood sugar-lowering effects.
  • Regularly check your blood sugar levels. This is crucial to ensure they don't drop too low.

By being vigilant about these side effects and following these tips, you can use glipizide more safely and effectively.

Choosing Between Metformin and Glipizide for Type 2 Diabetes

When managing type 2 diabetes, selecting the right medication is crucial. Two common options are metformin and glipizide. Though both are used for the same condition, they differ significantly.

Metformin: The First-Line Treatment

Metformin is often the go-to medication for newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Its popularity stems from its effectiveness in controlling blood sugar and its high safety profile. Additionally, most people tolerate metformin well, meaning it has relatively few side effects.

Glipizide: A Different Approach

Glipizide, while effective in lowering blood sugar, is known for having more potential side effects and safety concerns. Due to this, it's not typically the first medication prescribed.

Making the Decision

Doctors usually start with metformin and may add other drugs like glipizide later or switch to them if metformin isn't well-tolerated. The choice between these medications will depend on individual health needs and how well each drug is tolerated.

Glipizide-Metformin Combination Pill

As glipizide is often an add-on to other medications for type 2 diabetes, there's a combination pill available that combines glipizide and metformin in one tablet. This combination is particularly useful for those already prescribed both medications.

The main advantage of this combination pill is convenience. Instead of taking two separate pills, you can get the required doses of both glipizide and metformin in a single tablet. This simplification can be a relief for many, especially if managing multiple medications feels overwhelming.

Cost of Glipizide

Glipizide stands out as one of the more affordable options for managing type 2 diabetes. Typically, a month's supply of glipizide won't cost more than $10. This affordability is largely due to the availability of glipizide as a generic drug.

However, the combination pill of glipizide and metformin is a bit more expensive. On average, a month's supply of this combination medication is over $50. The exact cost can vary depending on the dosage prescribed.

Speak with Your Doctor

When considering diabetes medications, it's important to balance cost with your specific health needs. Discussing these options with your healthcare provider can help determine the most effective and affordable treatment plan for you.


  1. GLUCOTROL - glipizide tablet. Food and Drug Administration. (09/2008). Retrieved November 18, 2023, from
  2. METAGLIP (glipizide and metformin HCl) Tablets, for oral use. Food and Drug Administration. (n.d.). Retrieved November 18, 2023, from
  3. Wexler, DJ. Initial management of hyperglycemia in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. UpToDate. (2023, September 18). Retrieved November 19, 2023, from
  4. Glipizide (generic Glucotrol). GoodRx. (n.d.). November 19, 2023, from
  5. Glipizide / Metformin (generic Metaglip). GoodRx. (n.d.). November 19, 2023, from

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