1 What is Glucovance?

Brand: Glucovance

Generic: Glyburide and Metformin

Glucovance is used in the management of diabetes mellitus to control the high blood sugar levels. In type 2 diabetes there are increased levels of sugar in your blood because your body does not work properly to metabolize the sugar.

The first line treatment of diabetes is a proper diet but medication is usually used to achieve proper sugar control. Glyburide is a member of a group of drugs called sulfonylureas.

Metformin belongs to a class of anti-diabetic drugs called biguanides. Metformin decreases the absorption of sugar from the intestine. It stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreas, directing your body to store blood sugar.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription. This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Tablet

2 What to Know Before Using

Your doctor will inform you of what you need to know before using Glucovance. So, the benefits of a drug should always be weighed against its associated risks. Your doctor will consider these risks before prescribing the drug and will inform you about them.

Following factors should be considered before taking this drug:

  • Allergies: If you have had an allergic reaction to this drug in the past, inform your doctor. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic to any other drugs or food products.
  • Age-specific problems: The data regarding the effects of this medicine specific to the pediatric age group is not yet available. Its safety and efficacy have not been established in children. The studies specific to the geriatric age group have not been carried out, that would limit the use of this drug in old age group.
  • Pregnancy: Regarding the safety of usage of this drug during pregnancy, it comes under “B” category, which means that clinical trials on animals have not revealed any harmful effects to the developing fetus or relevant studies have not been performed.
  • Drug Interactions: Certain drugs should not be used together because they can interact inside the body which can have a harmful effect. On the other hand, certain drugs are allowed to be used together. So, you should tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking. If there is a chance of interaction between those two drugs, the doctor may change the dose or may prescribe an alternative drug.

Glucovance should be used cautiously with following drugs:

  • Bosentan
  • Acetrizoic Acid
  • Ethiodized Oil
  • Diatrizoate
  • Iobenzamic Acid
  • Iobitridol
  • Iodamide
  • Iocarmic Acid
  • Iocetamic Acid
  • Iodipamide
  • Iodohippuric Acid
  • Iodixanol
  • Iodopyracet
  • Ioglicic Acid
  • Iodoxamic Acid
  • Iohexol
  • Ioglycamic Acid
  • Iomeprol
  • Iopanoic Acid
  • Iopamidol
  • Iopentol
  • Iopromide
  • Iophendylate
  • Iopronic Acid
  • Iosimide
  • Ioseric Acid
  • Iotasul
  • Iotrolan
  • Iothalamate
  • Iotroxic Acid
  • Ioxaglate
  • Ioversol
  • Ioxitalamic Acid
  • Metrizamide
  • Ipodate
  • Tyropanoate Sodium
  • Metrizoic Acid

Furthermore, certain medications should not be taken with alcohol or tobacco, which may also result in harmful interactions. Ask your doctor about the concurrent use of this drug along with alcohol or tobacco.

You should also inform your doctor about any other medical condition you may be suffering from, especially:

  • Liver disease
  • Kidney, heart, or other problems
  • Strenuous exercise not accompanied by adequate intake of food 
  • Alcohol intoxication 
  • Underactive pituitary gland, not properly controlled 
  • Underactive adrenal gland, not properly controlled 
  • Undernourished condition 
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency—This condition may be made worse by this medication
  • Weakened physical condition 

3 Proper Usage

To use Glucovance properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. Glucovance should be taken with meals in order to avoid gastrointestinal side effects. You should exercise regularly while you are on this drug. Also, check your blood sugar levels regularly.

You should swallow the whole tablet. Avoid chewing, crushing or splitting the tablet. The most important part of treatment is proper diet control. Try following the special meal plan your doctor gave you. Diet control is necessary if the medicine is to work properly.

To avoid adverse effects, this drug should be used exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not overuse or misuse this drug and do not use it longer than the recommended time. Read all the instructions mentioned in the medication guide.

Do not miss any dose. The dose of this drug varies according to the condition of each person. The number of doses per day, the time interval between the doses and the length of time you have to take the medicine depends on your condition individually and all these factors should only be determined by your healthcare provider. Follow each and every instruction of your doctor and also read the label carefully.

In case you miss one dose of this drug, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your subsequent dose, you can then skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

Storage: This medicine should be stored at room temperature within a closed container, away from heat, direct light, and moisture. Keep this drug out of the reach of children. Do not store expired or outdated medicines or the medicine no longer needed.

4 Precautions to Take

If you take Glucovance, your doctor should perform routine checkups and advise you in taking precautions.

If you start having chest pain or discomfort; nausea; pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck; shortness of breath; sweating; or vomiting while you are using this medicine, check with you doctor right away. These may be symptoms of a serious heart problem, like a heart attack.

It is very important to follow carefully any instructions from your doctor about:

Alcohol—because drinking alcohol may cause low blood sugar levels.

Travel— tell your doctor about your recent prescription and your medical history. Keep all the records with you. Be prepared for an emergency as you would normally. Make allowances for changing time zones and keep your meal times as close as possible to your usual meal times.

Counseling—Family members of the patient need to learn how to prevent side effects or help with side effects if they occur. Furthermore, counseling regarding contraception and pregnancy may be needed because of the problems that can occur in patients with diabetes during pregnancy.

Regular follow-up is necessary during and after the treatment. It is important to allow your doctor to monitor your progress and to make sure that there aren’t any side effects from the medication.

Contact your doctor if your symptoms have not improved even after taking the full course of treatment. The doctor may order some blood tests in order to determine the blood levels of the drug.

Avoid taking any other medicine unless thoroughly discussed with your doctor. Always ask your doctor before using any prescription, non-prescription or herbal medicine.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Glucovance. Although these side effects may occur only in a handful of patients but if they do occur, contact your physician immediately.

This medication is associated with following side effects:

  • behavior change similar to being drunk
  • anxious feeling
  • blurred vision
  • confusion
  • cold sweats
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • cough
  • cool pale skin
  • difficulty in concentrating
  • excessive hunger
  • drowsiness
  • fast heartbeat
  • a headache (continuing)
  • fever
  • nausea
  • nightmares
  • nervousness
  • restless sleep
  • slurred speech
  • shakiness
  • sneezing
  • unconsciousness
  • sore throat
  • abdominal or stomach discomfort
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • decreased appetite
  • fast shallow breathing
  • diarrhea
  • the general feeling of discomfort
  • unusual sleepiness
  • muscle pain or cramping

Seek medical help instantly, if you experience any of these symptoms while on this medication. Also contact your health care professional immediately, if have overdosed on this drug.

If any of these side effects becomes more bothersome or does not go away, contact your doctor.