Glucovance (Glyburide/Metformin)


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Active ingredient: Glyburide/Metformin

Dosages: 400/2.50mg, 500/5mg

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What is Glucovance (Glyburide/Metformin)?

Glucovance is a medication that combines two different drugs, glyburide and metformin, used to help control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Here’s a simple breakdown of what each component does:

  • Metformin works mainly by helping your body use its own insulin more effectively. Insulin is a hormone that controls how much sugar is in your blood. Metformin also reduces the amount of sugar your liver releases into your blood and helps your body respond better to the insulin it makes.
  • Glyburide helps your pancreas produce more insulin and helps the body use insulin better.

When taken together, these two substances help lower blood sugar more effectively than if each drug is taken alone. This medication comes in tablet form and is usually taken one to two times a day with meals, as directed by a doctor. It’s important for managing blood sugar levels but also requires you to follow a diet and exercise plan. Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels is also necessary while using this medication.

What is Glucovance used for?

Glucovance is used to manage blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t use it efficiently, leading to high levels of sugar in the blood. Managing blood sugar is important to prevent complications from diabetes, such as nerve damage, kidney damage, and heart problems.

It helps by combining two medications that work together to lower blood sugar:

  • It helps your body use its own insulin better.
  • It reduces the amount of sugar your liver releases.
  • It helps your pancreas produce more insulin.

By doing these things, it helps keep your blood sugar levels in a healthier range. This medication is typically part of a broader diabetes management plan that includes diet, exercise, and regular blood sugar testing.

When is the best time to take Glucovance?

The best time to take Glucovance is with your meals. Typically, you take it once or twice a day as your doctor prescribes. Taking it with meals helps to reduce the risk of an upset stomach, which can be a side effect of the medication, and it helps the medication work better in managing your blood sugar levels during and after eating.

Specifically, for the Glucovance 500/5 dosage—which means each tablet contains 500 mg of metformin and 5 mg of glyburide—it should also be taken with meals. It’s usually recommended to take it with the first main meal of the day (often breakfast), or the first and last main meals if you are taking it twice a day. This timing helps to maximize the medication’s effectiveness by coinciding with food intake, which influences blood sugar levels.

Is Glucovance good for diabetes?

Glucovance is a good medication for managing type 2 diabetes. It helps by lowering blood sugar levels, which is crucial for preventing the long-term complications of diabetes such as heart disease, kidney damage, and nerve problems. By combining two medications, it allows for more effective blood sugar control than either medication alone. This can be especially helpful for people who need a little extra help to keep their blood sugar levels stable.

What Are Common Side Effects of Glucovance?

Like all medications, Glucovance can cause side effects, although not everyone experiences them. Some of the more common side effects include:

  • Upset stomach or nausea: This is why it’s recommended to take the drug with meals, as food can help reduce stomach irritation.
  • Diarrhea: This can occur but might lessen as your body adjusts to the medication.
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

There are also some serious but rare side effects to be aware of, such as lactic acidosis (a build-up of lactic acid in the blood, which can be dangerous if not treated) and hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar levels). Signs of low blood sugar include shaking, sweating, rapid heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands/feet.

Can Glucovance cause weight gain?

Glucovance is not typically associated with significant weight gain. In fact, one of the components of this drug, metformin, is often known for either weight neutrality or slight weight loss in some people. However, the other component, glyburide, can sometimes cause weight gain due to its role in increasing insulin levels, which helps the body absorb sugar from the bloodstream and can lead to increased calorie storage.

Overall, the effect of the medication on weight can vary from person to person. Some people might not see any change in their weight, while others could experience slight weight gain or loss. If you are concerned about weight changes while being on, it’s a good idea to discuss this with your healthcare provider.

What is the major contraindication of Glocavance?

The major contraindication of Glucovance—meaning a situation where you should not use the medication—is if you have severe kidney disease. This is very important because both active ingredients in this preparation, glyburide and metformin, are processed by the kidneys. If your kidneys are not working well, these drugs can build up in your body to harmful levels, which can cause serious health problems.

Another critical condition to watch out for is if you need to have any type of medical imaging procedure that involves injecting dyes that are processed by the kidneys. In such cases, you might need to stop taking the drug temporarily.

If you have liver disease, you should also avoid taking in. Since the liver is involved in managing drugs and blood sugar, having liver problems could affect how the medication works and how your body handles blood sugar.

When should I stop taking Glucovance?

You should only stop taking Glucovance under the guidance of your healthcare provider. However, there are some situations where it might be necessary to stop taking this medication temporarily or permanently:

  1. Severe Side Effects: If you experience serious side effects such as severe allergic reactions, difficulty breathing, extreme dizziness, or signs of lactic acidosis (such as unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain with nausea or vomiting, feeling cold, or feeling very weak or tired), you should seek medical help immediately and discuss with your doctor whether you should stop taking the drug.
  2. Surgery or Certain Medical Procedures: Your doctor may advise you to stop taking if you’re scheduled for surgery or certain types of medical imaging procedures that involve injecting dyes. This is because the medication can interact with the dyes or affect your recovery.
  3. Kidney or Liver Problems: If tests show that your kidney or liver function has declined significantly, your doctor may decide that you should stop taking the medicine, as it can be unsafe with reduced kidney or liver function.
  4. Pregnancy: If you become pregnant, your doctor will likely recommend altering your diabetes treatment, as it is not typically recommended during pregnancy.

What to avoid when taking Glucovance drug interactions?

When taking Glucovance, there are certain things you should avoid to ensure the medication works effectively and safely:

  1. Alcohol: It’s generally best to limit or avoid alcohol while taking this medication. Alcohol can increase the risk of lactic acidosis, a rare but serious side effect of metformin, one of the components of the drug. Alcohol can also affect blood sugar levels, making them more difficult to control.
  2. Other Medications: Some other medications can interact with Glucovance, affecting how well it works or increasing side effects. These include:
    • Diuretics (commonly called water pills).
    • Steroids.
    • Thyroid medicines.
    • Birth control pills and other hormones.
    • Heart or blood pressure medications.
    • Certain asthma drugs.

    Always tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements, to ensure they do not interfere with the described drug.

  3. Certain Medical Tests: If you are having certain tests done, especially those involving injection of contrast dyes (such as some X-rays and scans), you may need to stop taking this medicine temporarily. These dyes can affect kidney function, posing a risk when combined with the medication.
  4. Foods and Diet: While there’s no specific food you absolutely must avoid, it’s important to maintain a consistent, balanced diet. Sudden changes in your diet can affect blood sugar levels. Your healthcare provider or a dietitian can give you more specific guidance based on your health needs.

Where to get more info about Glucovance?

You may get more info if following the link.

Disclaimer: This document does not cover all information about this medication and should not be used as a substitute for the medication guide, a consultation with a pharmacist, or advice from your healthcare provider. For the full medication guide, more detailed information, or any further questions, please contact your pharmacist or healthcare provider directly. It is essential to follow their advice and the official medication guide to ensure the medication is used safely and effectively. Always talk to your healthcare provider before making any changes to your medication regimen and report any unexpected side effects or concerns immediately. Your pharmacist and healthcare provider are the best resources for information and support regarding your health and medications.

By Linda A. Martinez, PhD
Medically Reviewed by John Hoffman, M.D., FACS
Last Update: June 21, 2024