Chlorpropamide helps to treat diabetes by keeping your blood sugar in control. This medicine stimulates the pancreas to release insulin which helps lower the high blood sugar level that occurs after each meal.
Chlorpropamide is meant to be taken as part of a complete diabetes care programme that should include exercise, a healthy diet and regular monitoring of blood sugar levels.
Take Chlorpropamide exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
This medicine should be taken at the start of the meal, with the first mouthful of food.
Chlorpropamide must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue to take this medicine even when you feel better and do not stop taking unless advised by your doctor to do so. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- other type of diabetes called “diabetes type 1”
- severe liver disease
- severe kidney disease
- severe impairment of thyroid function
as Chlorpropamide may not be suitable for you.
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Chlorpropamide.
Your doctor may need to do regular blood tests while you are being treated with this medicine. This is to monitor your condition and check your response to the medicine.
You may have been warned about hypoglycaemia. Hypoglycaemia is the medical term for low blood sugar. It is important for you to recognise the symptoms of hypoglycaemia and correct the low blood sugar level. If you don't, you may faint.
How do I know if I am experiencing hypoglycaemia?
Some of the symptoms of hypoglycaemia include dizziness, headache, shaky hands, feeling hungry, weak or confused, problems speaking. These symptoms are your body's way of warning you that your blood sugar is dangerously low.
What should I do if I am experiencing hypoglycaemia?
You should take a drink or food containing sugar (e.g. fruit juice, soft drinks, sweets) at the first sign of hypoglycaemia. If your symptoms do not improve, get medical help. Keep some glucose tablets (also known as dextrose tablets) with you at all times.
Chlorpropamide may cause dizziness. If you feel dizzy, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and headache.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- yellowing of the skin or eyes pain near the stomach area or
- fever with persistent sore throat or mouth ulcers
- unusual bleeding or bruising
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
A type of blood pressure or heart medicine called beta-blockers may hide the symptoms of hypoglycaemia when taken with Chlorpropamide. Some examples of beta-blockers are metoprolol, atenolol and propranolol.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- antibiotics e.g. chloramphenicol
- medicines to treat fungal infections e.g. miconazole, fluconazole
- medicines for high blood pressure or heart disease e.g. chlorothiazide, hydrochlorothiazide
- NSAIDs (medicines for pain and inflammation) e.g. azapropazone, phenylbutazone
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Chlorpropamide.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics, such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines you buy without a prescription.
It is important for you to maintain a healthy diet and weight in order to help keep your diabetes under control.
Do not drink alcohol while you are being treated with Chlorpropamide because this could cause a very uncomfortable flushing of your face.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.