Gliclazide is used to treat type 2 diabetes (a long-term condition in which the body gradually becomes resistant to the effects of insulin, or the pancreas does not produce enough insulin). It helps treat your diabetes by keeping your blood sugar under control.
This medicine 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 Gliclazide 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.
Take it together with food or immediately after a meal, preferably after breakfast. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Gliclazide is available as a conventional tablet or a modified-release type of tablet.
If you are taking the modified-release type of tablet (usually labelled as “MR”), swallow it whole. Do not divide, chew or crush the tablet.
Gliclazide must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. 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.
Do not take this medicine if you ever had an allergic reaction (rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to Gliclazide or similar medicines such as glipizide, or sulfa antibiotics.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- type 1 diabetes (a long-term condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin)
- complications of diabetes such as diabetic ketoacidosis (ketone bodies and sugar in your urine), diabetic coma or pre-coma
- severe kidney disease
- severe liver disease
as Gliclazide may not be suitable for you.
Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. It may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods while taking this medicine.
Do not take Gliclazide if you are breastfeeding.
Do not take this medicine with medicines used to treat fungal infections, such as miconazole.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- severe blood circulation diseases
- disorders of the endocrine glands e.g. thyroid problems
- stress-related states e.g. fever, trauma, infection
- G6PD deficiency (an inherited blood disorder that affects the red blood cell)
- porphyria (an inherited disorder that causes skin or nervous system abnormalities)
- mild to moderate kidney disease
- mild to moderate liver disease
If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Gliclazide.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving this medicine to the elderly. Elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Routine tests (e.g. sugar levels, liver and kidney functions) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
If you are taking this medicine, you may have been warned about hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar).
How do I know if I am experiencing hypoglycaemia?
Hypoglycaemia is the medical term for low blood sugar. Symptoms of hypoglycaemia include dizziness, tremor, shaky hands, feeling hungry, weak or confused, and sweating. These signs are your body’s way of warning you that your blood sugar level is low.
It is important to recognise these symptoms and get relief for hypoglycaemia quickly, as the hypoglycaemia may worsen.
What should I do if I am experiencing hypoglycaemia?
Always carry some glucose tablets (also known as dextrose tablets) with you. Take 15 grams of glucose tablet at the first sign of hypoglycaemia, wait for 15 minutes and re-check your blood sugar level. If you are not feeling better or if your blood sugar level is still low (less than 4 mmol/L or 70 mg/dL), take another 15 grams of glucose tablet.
If you don’t have glucose tablets, you may take any of the following:
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) of juice or regular soda (not diet)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey, or corn syrup
- hard candies, jellybeans, or gumdrops (not sugar-free)
Get medical help should symptoms not improve after the second serving.
Gliclazide may cause hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) which may affect your vision and your ability to concentrate. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.
Other side effects include any of the following: constipation, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort or pain, indigestion, weakness, headache, rash and itching.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes, mouth, tongue or throat
- rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
- yellowing of the skin or eyes, abdominal pain, dark coloured urine, tiredness, swelling in the legs and ankles
This medicine may cause the level of your red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to drop.
Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.
White blood cells help your body fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Inform your doctor if you have a fever, cough, or flu that does not go away.
Platelets help your blood to clot when there is a cut in the skin. A fall in the level of your platelets may put you at risk of bleeding more than usual. Do not take part in activities where you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Inform your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises, especially if the bruises appeared on their own) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (for example, too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Gliclazide with miconazole (medicine to treat fungal infections).
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- other medicines for diabetes e.g. insulin, pioglitazone, sitagliptin, exenatide, metformin, acarbose
- medicines for high blood pressure e.g. atenolol, captopril, enalapril
- NSAIDs (medicines for pain and inflammation) e.g. phenylbutazone
- medicines that reduce stomach acid production e.g. cimetidine
- other anti-inflammatory medicines e.g. prednisolone
- chlorpromazine (medicine for mood disorders)
- asthma medicines e.g. salbutamol, terbutaline
- ritodrine (medicine used to stop premature labour)
- blood-thinning medicines e.g. warfarin
- certain antibiotics e.g. clarithromycin, ciprofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole
- medicines for sleep disorder e.g. amobarbital
- tetracosactrin (medicine used for diagnostic tests)
- danazol (medicine to treat endometriosis [abnormal growth of tissues outside the womb] and breast disorders)
- birth control pills e.g. estrogens, progestogens
- St. John's wort (herbal medicine)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Gliclazide.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
It is important to maintain a healthy diet and weight to help keep your diabetes under control.
It may be helpful to discuss your diet plan with your doctor or dietitian to manage your weight and blood sugar levels.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.