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Metaglip Warnings and Precautions

Specific Metaglip Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Metaglip include the following:
  • Oral diabetes drugs, including Metaglip, 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 Metaglip. However, it is unclear at this time how important this risk may be in people taking Metaglip.
  • In rare cases, metformin (one of the active ingredients of Metaglip) may cause a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis. Your risk of this increases with other medical conditions, including congestive heart failure, kidney failure, and liver problems, including liver failure and cirrhosis (see Metformin and Lactic Acidosis).
  • Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of lactic acidosis, too. Drinking large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis or drinking a large amount of alcohol at once (binge drinking) should be avoided while taking metformin (see Metformin and Alcohol).
  • Since liver disease (including liver failure and cirrhosis) can increase your risk of lactic acidosis, you should not take Metaglip if your liver is not functioning normally. Also, your kidney function needs to be monitored while you are taking it. This means that you should have blood tests that check your kidneys before you start Metaglip, and then you should have your kidneys checked at least once every year. If your kidney function is poor, you should not take Metaglip due to an increased risk of lactic acidosis.
  • Taking metformin (one of the active ingredients in Metaglip) and contrast dye at the same time can increase your risk of kidney damage. Contrast dye is used for certain radiology procedures, including some x-rays, CT scans, and heart catheterizations (see Metformin and Contrast Medium). Also, Metaglip should be temporarily stopped for most major surgeries and then restarted when you are eating normally again.
  • Metaglip can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in some people. This 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 may include irritability, trembling, cold sweats, or blurry vision, among other things (see Metaglip and Blood Sugar).
  • If you are allergic to sulfonamides ("sulfa" medications), you may also be allergic to Metaglip, although most people with sulfa allergies can take Metaglip without problems. To be safe, let your healthcare provider know if you have a sulfa allergy.
  • Fever, infections, injury, or surgery can temporarily increase your blood sugar, even in people with well-controlled diabetes. Metaglip 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.
  • Let your healthcare provider know if you drink a much lower amount of liquid than normal or if you have an illness that causes severe vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. These conditions can lead to severe dehydration (loss of water in your body). You may need to stop taking Metaglip for a short time.
  • Metaglip can decrease your vitamin B12 levels. Your healthcare provider should monitor your vitamin B12 levels, especially if you have a vitamin B12 deficiency (including pernicious anemia).
  • Metaglip can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can be a potentially dangerous condition. Your risk of hypoglycemia increases if you increase your physical activity, do not eat as much as you usually do, or drink alcohol. Adrenal or pituitary insufficiency or liver or kidney problems can also increase your risk of low blood sugar. Talk to your healthcare provider about what to do if you have low blood sugar and contact him or her immediately if you have very low blood sugar.
  • Metaglip can interact with certain medications (see Metaglip Drug Interactions).
  • Metaglip is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks of taking Metaglip during pregnancy are not known. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking Metaglip if you are pregnant or may become pregnant (see Metaglip and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known if Metaglip passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start , be sure to discuss this with your healthcare provider.
  • Sulfonylurea medicines, such as the glipizide component of Metaglip, 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.
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