Drugs Information Online
Drugs and diseases reference index

Drugs and diseases reference index
Search
EN

Drugs A-Z List

Diseases & Conditions A-Z List

Herbs & Supplements

Medical Dictionary

Full Article

Popular Drugs

Popular Diseases & Conditions

Drugs reference index «tolbutamide»

tolbutamide


tolbutamide

Generic Name: tolbutamide (tole BUE ta mide)Brand names: Orinase, Tol-Tab

What is tolbutamide?

Tolbutamide is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels. This medication helps your pancreas produce insulin.

Tolbutamide is used together with diet and exercise to treat type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes. Other diabetes medicines are sometimes used in combination with tolbutamide if needed.

Tolbutamide should not be used by itself to treat type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes.

Tolbutamide may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about tolbutamide?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to tolbutamide, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis. Call your doctor for treatment with insulin.

Before taking tolbutamide, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, a disorder of your pituitary or adrenal glands, an enzyme deficiency called G6PD, a history of heart disease, or if you are malnourished.

Taking certain oral diabetes medications may increase your risk of serious heart problems. However, not treating your diabetes can damage your heart and other organs. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of treating your diabetes with tolbutamide.

Take care to keep your blood sugar from getting too low, causing hypoglycemia. Symptoms of low blood sugar may include headache, nausea, hunger, confusion, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, blurred vision, fast heartbeat, sweating, tremor, or trouble concentrating. Carry a piece of non-dietetic hard candy or glucose tablets with you in case you have low blood sugar. Also be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.

Also watch for signs of blood sugar that is too high (hyperglycemia). These symptoms include increased thirst, loss of appetite, increased urination, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dry skin, and dry mouth. Check your blood sugar levels and ask your doctor how to adjust your medication doses if needed.

Tolbutamide is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, and testing your blood sugar. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. Changing any of these factors can affect your blood sugar levels.

What should I discuss with my doctor before taking tolbutamide?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to tolbutamide, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis. Call your doctor for treatment with insulin.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use tolbutamide:

  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • a disorder of your pituitary or adrenal glands;

  • an enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD);

  • a history of heart disease; or

  • if you are malnourished.

Taking certain oral diabetes medications may increase your risk of serious heart problems. However, not treating your diabetes can damage your heart and other organs. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of treating your diabetes with tolbutamide. FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether tolbutamide is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether tolbutamide passes into breast milk or if it could be harmful to a nursing baby. Do not take tolbutamide without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take tolbutamide?

Take tolbutamide exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger or smaller amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Your dose needs may change if you are ill, if you have a fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency.

Do not change your dose of tolbutamide without first talking to your doctor.

Follow your doctor's instructions about how often to take tolbutamide, and whether or not you should take it with food.

Take care not to let your blood sugar get too low, causing hypoglycemia. You may have hypoglycemia if you skip a meal, exercise too long, drink alcohol, or are under stress.

Know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and how to recognize them. Always keep a source of sugar available in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar. Sugar sources include orange juice, glucose gel, candy, or milk. Severe hypoglycemia may cause loss of consciousness, seizures, or death. If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use an injection of glucagon. Your doctor can give you a prescription for a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to give the injection.

Check your blood sugar carefully during a time of stress or illness, if you travel, exercise more than usual, or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your dose needs may also change.

Watch for signs of blood sugar that is too high (hyperglycemia). These symptoms include increased thirst, loss of appetite, increased urination, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dry skin, and dry mouth. Check your blood sugar levels and ask your doctor how to adjust your medication doses if needed.

Your blood sugar will need to be checked on a regular basis. You may also need other blood tests at your doctor's office. Do not miss any appointments.

Tolbutamide is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, and testing your blood sugar. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. Changing any of these factors can affect your blood sugar levels.

It is important to take tolbutamide regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Store tolbutamide at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

See also: Tolbutamide dosage in more detail

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Be sure to take the medication with food if your doctor instructs you to. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of tolbutamide can cause severe hypoglycemia.

Symptoms of severe hypoglycemia include extreme weakness, blurred vision, sweating, trouble speaking, tremors, stomach pain, confusion, seizure (convulsions), or coma.

What should I avoid while taking tolbutamide?

Avoid drinking alcohol. It lowers blood sugar and may interfere with your diabetes treatment.

Do not use tolbutamide if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis. Call your doctor for treatment.

Tolbutamide side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is the most common side effect of tolbutamide. Symptoms of low blood sugar may include headache, nausea, hunger, confusion, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, blurred vision, fast heartbeat, sweating, tremor, trouble concentrating, confusion, or seizure (convulsions). Watch for signs of low blood sugar. Carry a piece of non-dietetic hard candy or glucose tablets with you in case you have low blood sugar.

Stop taking tolbutamide and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;

  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, fever, confusion.

  • trouble concentrating, memory problems, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady, hallucinations, or fainting; or

  • seizure (convulsions).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, heartburn, full feeling;

  • headache;

  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth; or

  • skin rash, redness, or itching.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Tolbutamide Dosing Information

Usual Adult Dose for Diabetes Mellitus Type II:

Initial dose: 1 to 2 grams orally dailyMaintenance dose: 0.25 to 3 grams orally daily

What other drugs will affect tolbutamide?

You may be more likely to have hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) if you are taking tolbutamide with other drugs that raise blood sugar, such as:

  • isoniazid;

  • diuretics (water pills);

  • steroids (prednisone and others);

  • phenothiazines (Compazine and others);

  • thyroid medicine (Synthroid and others);

  • birth control pills and other hormones;

  • seizure medicines (Dilantin and others);

  • diet pills; and

  • medicines to treat asthma, colds or allergies.

You may be more likely to have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if you are taking tolbutamide with other drugs that lower blood sugar, such as:

  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs);
  • aspirin or other salicylates (including Pepto-Bismol);

  • sulfa drugs (Bactrim and others);

  • a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI);

  • beta-blockers (Tenormin and others);
  • probenecid (Benemid); or

  • a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin and others).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with tolbutamide. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about tolbutamide.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.01. Revision Date: 10/06/2009 9:40:30 AM.
  • tolbutamide Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Tolbutamide Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Tolbutamide Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Tolbutamide Detailed Consumer Information (PDR)
  • Tolbutamide MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)

See Also...