Q: Are 10 mg of Glyzip equivalent to 500 mg of metformin?
A: Glucotrol (Glyzip) is an anti-diabetic drug from the sulfonylurea class used in the treatment of type II diabetes. The most common side effects of Glucotrol include asthenia, headache, dizziness, nervousness, tremor, diarrhea, and flatulence. Glucophage (metformin) are used to treat type 2 diabetes. Glucophage (metformin) helps control blood sugar in a number of ways. These include helping the body respond better to the insulin it makes naturally, decreasing the amount of sugar the liver makes, and decreasing the amount of sugar the intestines absorb. Common side effects of Glucophage include diarrhea, nausea, and upset stomach Glyzip and metformin work by two different mechanisms and therefore the doses are not interchangeable. Thus, there is no dose of Glyzip that is equivalent to metformin since each works differently within the body. If you are trying to switch between medications, your doctor should be able to determine the correct dosing for you based on your current blood glucose levels and/or A1c levels. Megan Uehara, PharmD
Diuretics (thiazide diuretics)
These drugs may increase your blood sugar levels when taken with Glyzip. Be sure to test your blood sugar as directed by your doctor if you’re taking these medications together. Examples of these drugs include:
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to Glyzip, or if you have diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment).
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
liver or kidney disease;
chronic diarrhea, or a blockage in your intestines; or
an enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD).
Follow your doctor's instructions about using this medicine if you are pregnant. Blood sugar control is very important during pregnancy, and your dose needs may be different during each trimester. You should not take Glyzip during the last 2 weeks of pregnancy. Agents other than Glyzip are currently recommended to treat diabetes in pregnant women.
It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
Q: What is an inexpensive diabetes drug that does not have a sulfa component in it, such as Glyzip family? I am looking for a medication that won't put me in the "donut hole." I take metformin twice a day and Glyzip, but I am allergic to sulfa. I think it is contributing to the redness in my legs (like cellulitis).
A: Patients often inquire about inexpensive alternatives to the current treatment that has been prescribed. Firstly, you may want to contact your insurance company, prior to speaking with your doctor, and request a formulary. A formulary is a list of the medications they prefer and the different levels of coverage specific to your plan. Then, it is important to contact your health care provider and based on your individual needs and the formulary list of covered medications, the best treatment option, that hopefully does not land you in the "donut hole" can be determined. Beth Isaac, PharmD
Conversion From Long Half-Life Agents
Observe patients carefully for 1-2 weeks when being converted from long half-life sulfonylureas to Glyzip, because of potential for overlapping of hypoglycemic effects