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Glucovance Medication - Uses & Side Effects


Glucovance is used in the treatment of type 2 (noninsulin dependent) diabetes. Diabetes develops when the body's ability to burn sugar declines and the unused sugar builds up in the bloodstream. Ordinarily, sugar is moved out of the blood and into the body's cells by the hormone insulin. A buildup occurs when the body either fails to make enough insulin or doesn't respond to it properly.Glucovance is a combination of 2 drugs--glyburide (DiaBeta, Micronase) and metformin (Glucophage)--that attack high blood sugar levels in several ways. The glyburide component stimulates the pancreas to produce more insulin and helps the body use it properly. The metformin component also encourages proper insulin utilization, and in addition works to decrease sugar production and absorption. Glucovance is prescribed when diet and exercise prove insufficient to keep blood sugar levels under control. Glucovance can also be combined with other diabetes drugs such as Avandia.

Glucovance Dosage

  • Your doctor will start therapy at a low dose and increase it until your blood sugar levels are under control.
  • The recommended starting dose is 1.25 milligrams of glyburide with 250 milligrams of metformin once or twice daily with meals. The dosage can be increased every two weeks until blood sugar levels are controlled. The maximum recommended daily dosage of Glucovance for previously untreated patients is 10 milligrams of glyburide with 2,000 milligrams of metformin.

Uses of Glucovance

  • Metformin is also used to regulate blood sugar levels. Metformin works in three ways: first, it reduces the amount of glucose (sugar) produced by your liver; second, it reduces the amount of glucose absorbed from food through your stomach; and third, it makes the insulin that your body produces work better to reduce the amount of glucose already in your blood.
  • Glucovance is used with diet and exercise to treat non-insulin-dependent (type 2) diabetes.

Side Effects of Glucovance

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Glucovance. Side effects may include:

  • Cold sweats
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • hunger
  • nausea
  • shakiness
  • stomach pain
  • upper respiratory infections
  • vomiting

Warnings and precautions before taking Glucovance:

  • Avoid excessive alcohol intake while taking Glucovance. Heavy drinking increases the danger of lactic acidosis and can also trigger an attack of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
  • Missed meals, malnutrition, general debility, liver or kidney problems, other medications, and over-exertion also increase the risk of hypoglycemia. Symptoms of a mild case include cold sweats, dizziness, shakiness, and hunger. Severe hypoglycemia can lead to seizures and coma. If you notice any of the warning signs, check with your doctor immediately.
  • Lactic acidosis also becomes more likely when you become dehydrated. If you experience severe vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or if your fluid intake is significantly reduced, tell your doctor.
  • Taking Glucovance with certain diabetes drugs, such as Avandia, can increase the risk of hypoglycemia, weight gain, and liver problems. Your doctor will periodically test your liver function to guard against any problems.
  • Glucovance occasionally causes a mild deficiency of vitamin B12. Your doctor will check annually and may prescribe a supplement if necessary.

Drug Interaction :- If Glucovance is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either drug could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Glucovance with the following:

  • Airway-opening drugs such as Proventil and Ventolin
  • Beta-blockers (heart and blood-pressure drugs such as Inderal and Tenormin)
  • Birth control pills
  • Calcium channel blockers (heart medications) such as Calan, Isoptin, and Procardia
  • Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin)
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • Estrogens such as Premarin
  • HydroDiuril, Lasix, and other diuretics
  • Isoniazid (Rifamate)
  • Major tranquilizers such as Compazine, Stelazine, and Thorazine
  • MAO inhibitors such as the antidepressants Nardil and Parnate
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, ibuprofen, Naprosyn, and Voltaren
  • Niacin (Niacor, Niaspan)
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • Probenecid
Overdose

An overdose of Glucovance can cause an attack of hypoglycemia requiring immediate treatment. If you experience any of the symptoms listed in "Special warnings about Glucovance," see a doctor immediately. An excessive dose of Glucovance can also trigger lactic acidosis. If you begin to notice the warning signs listed in "Most important fact about Glucovance," seek emergency treatment.

Symptoms of a Glucovance overdose include:

  • hunger
  • nausea
  • anxiety
  • cold sweats
  • weakness
  • drowsiness
  • unconsciousness and coma

An overdose of Glucovance may also cause lactic acidosis. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include a feeling of general discomfort or sickness; weakness; sore or aching muscles; trouble breathing; unusual drowsiness, dizziness or lightheadedness; unusual or unexplained stomach upset (after the initial stomach upset that may occur at the start of therapy with Glucovance); and the sudden development of a slow or irregular heartbeat.



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