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Glucotrol XL (Glipizide SR)

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Glucotrol XL

Glucotrol XL is an oral blood sugar-lowering medicine indicated alongside a dietary and exercise program to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (non-insulin-dependent diabetes). The medication enhances insulin production by the pancreas which helps reduce the amount of sugar in the blood.

Other names for this medication:
Glynase XL

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Also known as:  Glipizide SR.


Glucotrol XL is an anti-diabetic agent used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (non-insulin-dependent diabetes) in patients whose blood sugar cannot be controlled to a satisfactory extent by a diet and exercise alone. This extended-release medicine is composed of Glipizide, an insulin secretagogue belonging to a sulfonylurea drug class. It assists in a blood sugar-lowering process by causing the pancreas to secrete more insulin (a natural substance needed to break down sugar in the body) and helping the body utilize it efficiently. Glucotrol XL therapy also benefits in decreasing insulin resistance and inhibiting hepatic glucose production. It can be administered either alone, in combination with insulin or other diabetes medicines. The medication may also be used as an off-label drug in the treatment of gestational diabetes mellitus that develops in women during pregnancy.


Treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults where a proper diet and exercise regimen has failed to maintain an adequate blood sugar level.

The medicine is also used in an off-label way in the treatment of gestational diabetes mellitus in pregnant women who are not able to control their blood sugar levels by a diet and exercise alone.

MOA (mechanism of action)

Glipizide is an anti-diabetic medication classed as a ‘second-generation’ sulfonylurea with a potent hypoglycemic activity exerted in its ability to promote the production of insulin by beta cells of the pancreas. The active substance binds to ATP-sensitive potassium channel receptors on the pancreatic cell surface which causes a reduction in a degree of potassium conductance, and thus, leads to the membrane depolarization. This depolarization opens up voltage-sensitive calcium channels and rises concentrations of intracellular calcium ions, resulting in an increased secretion of insulin. Glipizide’s extrapancreatic effect is exerted in rising peripheral insulin sensitivity, decreasing the amount of glycated hemoglobin in the bloodstream, and lowering the rates of hepatic glucose production.


Glucotrol XL is formulated as a once-a-day extended-release tablet for oral use and is to be administered with breakfast or the first main meal of the day. The tablets should be swallowed whole. Do not break, crush, chew, or cut it in half, as this will damage the tablet and release too much medicine into the body at one time.

Maximum dose: 20 mg once per day.

In elderly, debilitated or malnourished patients and those with impaired renal or hepatic function, the initial and maintenance dosing should be conservative and adjusted by a doctor in order to avoid undesirable hypoglycemic reactions. The blood and urine sugar should be tested regularly to sustain the optimum dose and monitor the patient’s response to the therapy. While on Glucotrol XL tablets, it is recommended to follow a proper diet and exercise program and not to skip meals. Continue to take the tablets even if you feel better unless you are advised otherwise by your doctor.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose you should take it with your next meal. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses on the same day to make up for a forgotten one.


If an overdose occurs and you are feeling unwell, you should seek emergency medical attention or contact your healthcare provider immediately. If you are experiencing symptoms of hypoglycemia, you should raise your blood sugar right away by consuming oral glucose (e.g., a small bar of sugar cubes, sweet juice, sweetened tea).


Store at room temperature under 30°C (86°F) away from excess moisture and heat. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date. Keep out of the reach of children.

Side effects

The most common side effects associated with Glucotrol XL are:

  • headache
  • feeling or being sick
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • irritability
  • confusion
  • shakiness
  • blurred vision
  • rashes, sores, redness, itching
  • hypoglycemia (low blood glucose)
  • hyponatremia (low blood sodium)
  • decreased heartbeat
  • elevated liver enzymes
  • stomach pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

Side effects occurrence does not only depend on the medication you are taking but also on your overall health and other factors.


Do not take Glucotrol XL if you are allergic to Glipizide, drug excipients or any of the other medicines from the same drug class i.e., sulphonamides, sulphonylureas.

Do not use the medicine if you have type 1 diabetes mellitus, diabetic ketoacidosis (a serious diabetes mellitus complication when cells in the body are unable to get the glucose they need for energy as there is not enough insulin).

Do not give the medication to patients in a diabetic pre-coma or coma (a life-threatening diabetes complication that causes unconsciousness).

Do not use Glucotrol XL if you suffer from severe kidneys or liver disorders.

Do not take the tablets if you have a glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PDD) (a disease that causes abnormal destruction of your red blood cells).

Use the medicine with caution if you have serious cardiovascular diseases.

Be careful with the drug intake if you have an impaired thyroid, pituitary, or adrenal function.

Do not take Glucotrol XL in combination with some medicines used to treat fungal infections (miconazole, fluconazole), coumarin anticoagulants to prevent blood clots (e.g., warfarin), cholesterol-lowering drugs (like clofibrate), other anti-diabetic medicines (such as biguanides), probenecid (a medication used to treat gout or to increase the blood levels of some antibiotics), monoamine oxidase inhibitors for the treatment of depression, H2 receptor antagonists (e.g., cimetidine) used to treat reflux and ulcers, some medicines used to treat cancer (like cyclophosphamide).

Be careful with the use of Glucotrol XL while taking some medications which may interrupt with your diabetes mellitus control. These include calcium channel blocking medicines for the treatment of high blood pressure, corticosteroids (such as prednisone and cortisone), glucagon, used to treat low blood glucose, nicotinic acid, taken for blood fats lowering, drugs to treat tuberculosis (like isoniazid), oestrogens, progestogens, oral contraceptives and some other hormonal treatments (such as danazol), phenothiazines, used in the treatment of mental illness or psychotic disorders, phenytoin, a medicine used to treat convulsions (epilepsy), thiazides, thyroid hormones.

Avoid alcohol consumption while on Glucotrol XL tablets to prevent the occurrence of adverse effects.

Make sure you know how you react to the medication before driving or operating machinery, as the drug may cause dizziness, drowsiness or lower the ability to concentrate.

Do not take the medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding without seeing your doctor first.

Do not give the medication to patients younger than 18 years of age.

Q: What is Glucotrol XL used for?

A: The medicine indicated to improve glycemic control in adults suffering type 2 diabetes mellitus (non-insulin-dependent diabetes) whose blood sugar cannot be maintained with a diet and exercise alone. The medication improves insulin production by the pancreas, thus helping reduce the amount of sugar in the blood.

Q: How to take the tablets?

A: Glucotrol XL is indicated for a once-a-day administration and is to be taken with breakfast or the first main meal of the day. The medication should be swallowed whole. Do not break, crush, chew, or cut it in half, as this will damage the tablet and release too much medicine into the body at one time.

Q: Can I take Glucotrol XL during pregnancy or when breastfeeding?

A: The medicine may be used as an off-label drug in pregnant women who have gestational diabetes mellitus. The administration of Glucotrol XL should only be considered if the potential benefits outweigh the possible risks. Do not take the tablets without medical consultation.

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