Sulfonylureas for Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

Sulfonylureas are oral drugs used to treat Type 2 diabetes when an improved diet and exercise regime have failed to improve high blood sugar.

What they do

Sulfonylureas are intended to stimulate the pancreas to release more insulin and encourage the muscles and liver to use more sugar.

Although often used as the sole diabetes medication, sulfonylureas can also be taken with other diabetes drugs (such as metformin or a thiazolidinedione), or taken in conjuction with insulin injections.

Your recommended dosage may be anything from one to three times per day, and exact dosage will vary depending on your personal circumstances. In order to optimise their control of blood sugar levels, these drugs are usually taken 20 minutes before eating.

Sulfonylureas lower blood sugar only in cases where the body is still producing some insulin.


Some of examples of sulfonylureas include Amaryl, Chlorpropamide, Diabinese, Tolazamide, Tolinase, Acetohexamide, Glipizide, Tolbutamide, Orinase, Glimepiride, DiaBeta, Micronase, Glibenclamide, and Gliclazide

The side effects of Amaryl and the Sulfonylureas include:

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Weight gain
  • Water retention
  • Allergic reactions (usually only in those with an allergy to sulfa treatments)
  • Cardiac (slight risk only).

Sulfonylureas are not recommend for use during pregnancy.

Sulfonylureas may interact with other drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Please consult with your Doctor before commencing any other drug for diabetes treatment.


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