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Glipizide and Blood Sugar

Side effects are possible with glipizide, and blood sugar levels that are too high or too low are among the most common. Low blood sugar can cause sweating, extreme hunger, and dizziness. Symptoms of high blood sugar include nausea, fatigue, and shortness of breath. If you are taking glipizide and a blood sugar reading seems too high or too low, or if symptoms occur, contact your healthcare provider right away.

Glipizide and Blood Sugar: An Overview

One of the possible side effects of glipizide (Glucotrol®) or glipizide extended release (Glucotrol XL®) is its effect on blood sugar levels. For some people, glipizide can cause blood sugar levels to drop too low (hypoglycemia). It is also possible for blood sugar to go too high (hyperglycemia) in people taking the drug.

Glipizide and Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar is one of the more common side effects of glipizide. Based on clinical studies, it occurs in up to 3.4 percent of people taking the medication. Low blood sugar is more common in elderly people and in people with adrenal, pituitary, liver, or kidney problems, as well as during fasting before surgery and after prolonged exercise.
Symptoms of low blood sugar can vary, depending on a number of factors, including how low the blood sugar levels are. Examples of early symptoms of low blood sugar may include:
  • Sweating
  • Shakiness
  • Extreme hunger
  • Dizziness
  • Cold sweats
  • Blurry vision.
More severe symptoms include:
  • Changes in behavior, such as irritability
  • Loss of coordination
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma
  • Loss of life.
If you develop any possible symptoms of low blood sugar while on glipizide, contact your healthcare provider immediately, or seek emergency medical care and stop taking the medicine. If your healthcare provider believes that low blood sugar is causing your symptoms, he or she may recommend that you treat it immediately by eating or drinking something with sugar in it, such as orange juice, hard candy, a tablespoon of honey, or even a tablespoon of granulated sugar.
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