Tolbutamide is used with a proper diet and exercise program to control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It may also be used with other diabetes medications. Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Tolbutamide belongs to the class of drugs known as sulfonylureas. It works by causing the release of your body's natural insulin and may help to restore your body's proper response to insulin.
How to use Tolbutamide
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily in the morning. Your daily dose may also be divided into smaller doses to be taken several times a day, especially if this medication causes stomach upset. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (your blood sugar is too high or too low).
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: dark urine, easy bleeding/bruising, persistent nausea, severe stomach/abdominal pain, signs of infection (such as persistent sore throat, fever), yellowing eyes/skin.
This medication can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). This may occur if you do not consume enough calories from food or if you do unusually heavy exercise. Symptoms of low blood sugar include sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands/feet. It is a good habit to carry glucose tablets or gel to treat low blood sugar. If you don't have these reliable forms of glucose, rapidly raise your blood sugar by eating a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, or candy, or drink fruit juice or non-diet soda. Tell your doctor right away about the reaction and the use of this product. To help prevent low blood sugar, eat meals on a regular schedule, and do not skip meals. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out what you should do if you miss a meal.
Symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) include thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, flushing, rapid breathing, and fruity breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away. Your dosage may need to be increased.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking tolbutamide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, low sodium blood level (hyponatremia), certain hormonal conditions (adrenal/pituitary insufficiency, thyroid disease, syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone-SIADH).
You may experience blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness due to extremely low or high blood sugar. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
Limit alcohol while taking this medication because it can increase your risk of developing low blood sugar. Rarely, alcohol can interact with tolbutamide and cause a serious reaction (disulfiram-like reaction) with symptoms such as facial flushing, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or stomach pain. Consult your doctor or pharmacist about the safe use of alcohol.
It may be harder to control your blood sugar when your body is stressed (such as due to fever, infection, injury, or surgery). Consult your doctor because this may require a change in your treatment plan, medications, or blood sugar testing.
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially low blood sugar.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Pregnancy may cause or worsen diabetes. Discuss a plan with your doctor for managing your blood sugar while pregnant. Your doctor may change your diabetes treatment during your pregnancy (such as diet and medications including insulin).
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Many drugs can affect your blood sugar, making it harder to control. Before you start, stop, or change any medication, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how the medication may affect your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high or low blood sugar. (See also Side Effects section.) Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
Beta-blocker medications (including metoprolol, propranolol, glaucoma eye drops such as timolol) may prevent the fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when your blood sugar falls too low (hypoglycemia). Other symptoms of low blood sugar such as dizziness, hunger, or sweating are unaffected by these drugs.
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that could affect your blood sugar. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests, possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: shakiness, fast heartbeat, sweating, loss of consciousness.
Do not share this medication with others.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments. Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as liver and kidney function tests, fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c, complete blood counts) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip themissed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.Information last revised October 2016. Copyright(c) 2016 First Databank, Inc.
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