Glipizide uses include helping the pancreas produce more insulin in order to lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. By lowering blood sugar, the chances of developing problems associated with high blood sugar (such as heart disease and kidney failure) are decreased. The drug is not used for type 1 diabetes, and there are no universally accepted off-label glipizide uses.
Glipizide Uses: An OverviewGlipizide (Glucotrol®) is a prescription medication licensed to treat type 2 diabetes. A long-acting form, extended release glipizide (Glucotrol XL®), is also available. Extended release glipizide tablets slowly release the medication, providing a more even level of glipizide in the blood.
Glipizide is often used when blood sugar cannot be controlled by diet and exercise alone. It can be used alone or in combination with other diabetes medications.
(Click Glipizide Alternatives for information about other medications used to treat type 2 diabetes.)
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes (see Diabetes Types). It is also sometimes called adult-onset diabetes or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a condition involving insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, the cells of the body do not respond to insulin as well as they normally should. As a result, the cells do not take sugar out of the blood very well. This is why people with the condition have high blood sugar.
Over time, high blood sugar can lead to a number of problems, including diabetic impotence, diabetic neuropathy, kidney failure, and heart disease (see Diabetes Complications). The cause of type 2 diabetes is not fully understood, although it is known that obesity and genetics play an important role.
Glipizide is used to treat type 2 diabetes in people who cannot lower blood sugar sufficiently through lifestyle changes (such as weight loss, diet, and exercise). It works by increasing the production of insulin in the pancreas. It may also help to lower blood sugar by improving insulin resistance. This means that glipizide may help the cells take more sugar from the blood.
In some people, glipizide may need to be combined with other diabetes medicines. For example, if type 2 diabetes is untreated for a very long time, the pancreas may not be able to make enough insulin anymore. In these cases, using glipizide alone will not be effective. These people will need to take insulin along with glipizide.