Gliclazide is used to treat diabetes by keeping your blood sugar in 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.
If you are taking the modified-release type of tablet (usually labeled 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 sulfasalazine.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- type 1 diabetes
- complications of diabetes such as diabetic ketoacidosis (ketone bodies and sugar in your urine) and diabetic coma
- severe kidney disease
- severe liver disease
as Gliclazide may not be suitable for you.
Do not take Gliclazide 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 breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Do not take this medicine with miconazole. (Please see the section “Can I take this with other medicines?”).
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- severe blood circulation diseases
- stress related states e.g. fever, trauma, infection, surgery
- poor carbohydrate intake or imbalanced diet
- mild to moderate kidney disease
- mild to moderate liver disease
- G6PD deficiency (an inherited blood disorder that affects the red blood cell)
If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Gliclazide.
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.
- Your blood sugar may fall to unsafe levels without you noticing it, especially when you are taking other medicines for diabetes.
- Your doctor may also need to do routine blood tests while you are being treated with Gliclazide. Your doctor will advise you how often you need to have them.
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 or 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.
Gliclazide may cause dizziness, drowsiness or loss of consciousness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
This medicine may cause any of the following side effects: headache, back pain, diarrhoea, constipation, vomiting, indigestion, weakness, cough, swelling of the throat, flu-like illness, common colds, sweating, clammy skin, swelling of the ankles, legs or feet, rash, itching, joint pain, and chest pain.
Some side effects may be serious, although they are not common. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience:
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- yellowing of the skin and white of the eyes
- pass out blood or black, tarry stools or vomit coffee-ground-like vomitus
- rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
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 to 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, or a 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 used to treat fungal infections).
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines for high blood pressure e.g. atenolol, captopril, enalapril
- medicines for pain and inflammation e.g. phenylbutazone
- other anti-inflammatory medicines e.g. prednisolone
- medicines for mood disorder e.g. chlorpromazine
- asthma medicines e.g. salbutamol, ritodrine
- blood-thinning medicines e.g. warfarin
- antibiotics e.g. clarithromycin, ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, sulfamethoxazole
- medicines to treat fungal infection e.g. fluconazole
- stomach medicines e.g. cimetidine, ranitidine
- tetracosactrin (medicine used for diagnostic test)
- danazol (medicine to treat heavy menstrual bleeding and breast disorders)
- herbal medicine e.g. St John’s wort
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.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.