Diabetes Home > Glyburide Warnings and Precautions

An awareness of glyburide warnings and precautions can ensure a safe treatment process. For example, the drug carries a risk of low blood sugar, and there is a potential for allergic reactions. Glyburide warnings and precautions also extend to people who have kidney, liver, or pituitary gland problems. People who are allergic to the drug should not take it, nor should people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis.

Glyburide: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking glyburide (DiaBeta®, Glynase®, or Micronase®) if you have:
  • Kidney problems, including kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Liver problems, including liver failure or cirrhosis
  • Adrenal insufficiency or adrenal fatigue
  • Pituitary gland problems
  • Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency 
  • Any allergies, including allergies to sulfa drugs, foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also let your healthcare provider know if you:
  • Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Will be having surgery.
In addition, tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Glyburide Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of before taking glyburide include the following:
  • Oral diabetes drugs, including glyburide, may increase the risk of death due to heart or blood vessel problems when compared to diabetes treatment with diet or insulin. This warning is based on one research study that looked at a diabetes medication similar to glyburide. However, it is unclear at this time how serious this risk may be in people taking glyburide.
  • If you are allergic to sulfonamides ("sulfa" medications), you may also be allergic to glyburide. However, not everyone with a sulfa allergy will be allergic to glyburide. To be safe, let your healthcare provider know if you have a sulfa allergy.
  • Glyburide can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in some people. This has been 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 may include irritability, trembling, cold sweats, or blurry vision, among other things. Also, nerve damage (usually occurring in people with a long history of diabetes) may make it difficult for people to feel the symptoms of low blood sugar, putting such individuals at an increased risk. 
  • Fever, infections, injury, or surgery can temporarily increase your blood sugar, even in people with well-controlled diabetes. Glyburide may not be enough to treat your diabetes at these times, and the use of insulin may be required. Contact your healthcare provider if you have a fever, infection, injury, or will be having surgery. Also, make sure you know the symptoms of high blood sugar and how to check your blood sugar levels (see Glyburide and Blood Sugar).


  • Glyburide may increase the risk of hemolytic anemia in people with glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. Glyburide may not be a good choice for people with this problem.


  • Over time, glyburide may become less effective at controlling blood sugar levels. This may be due to the diabetes getting worse or the body not responding as well to the glyburide. In these cases, glyburide may need to be combined with another oral diabetes medication or insulin. You healthcare provider may also recommend switching to another diabetes medication (see Glyburide Alternatives).
  • Sulfonylurea medicines, such as glyburide, have been reported to increase sensitivity to the sun. Therefore, when going outdoors, try wearing long sleeves, pants, and a hat. Any exposed skin should be covered with sunscreen that is at least SPF 15.
  • Glyburide can interact with certain medications (see Glyburide Drug Interactions).
  • Glyburide is considered a pregnancy Category B or C medication, depending on the type of glyburide prescribed. This means that the drug may or may not be safe for use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider before using glyburide during pregnancy (see Glyburide and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known if glyburide passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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