Glucotrol XL (glipizide) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes when combined with diet and exercise.
Glucotrol XL comes as an extended-release oral tablet. The drug is slowly released into your body after you take it.
The active drug in Glucotrol XL is glipizide. This active drug is available in a generic version. Generics are exact copies of brand-name drugs. They’re considered as safe and effective as the brand-name drug and usually cost less.
Glucotrol XL belongs to a class of diabetes drugs called sulfonylureas.
For information about Glucotrol XL dosing, including the drug’s strengths and how to take the medication, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at Glucotrol XL, see this article.
This article describes typical dosages for Glucotrol XL provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Glucotrol XL, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
The information below describes the typical recommended dosages for Glucotrol XL. However, be sure to take the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you.
Glucotrol XL form
Glucotrol XL comes as an extended-release oral tablet.
Glucotrol XL strengths
Glucotrol XL comes in three strengths:
- 2.5 milligrams (mg)
- 5 mg
- 10 mg
Typically, your doctor will start you on the recommended starting dose. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. The recommended maximum dose of Glucotrol XL is 20 mg once per day. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for type 2 diabetes
To help improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes, the recommended starting dose of Glucotrol XL is 5 mg once per day. Glucotrol XL should be used in combination with diet and exercise.
Depending on your body’s response to the drug, your doctor may increase your dose up to 20 mg once per day.
Glucotrol XL is meant to be a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Glucotrol XL is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
The Glucotrol XL dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- other medications you take
- your age
Other medical conditions you have can also affect your Glucotrol XL dosage.
Your doctor may adjust your dosage of Glucotrol XL if you take certain other medications. Talk with your doctor about any medications you take before starting your treatment.
If you have liver problems or you’re age 65 years or older, your doctor may adjust your dosage. Or they may monitor you closely while taking Glucotrol XL.
You’ll typically take Glucotrol XL once per day. It’s recommended that you take it with your first main meal of the day.
Glucotrol XL tablets should be swallowed whole. They should not be crushed, divided, broken, or chewed.
Glucotrol XL is an extended-release oral tablet that slowly releases the medication into your body over time. Breaking the tablet will release the drug all at once. This increases your risk of side effects from the drug. See this article for more information about Glucotrol XL’s side effects.
The shell of Glucotrol XL tablets doesn’t dissolve. The medication is absorbed in your body, but the empty shell may appear in your stool.
If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS
If you’re having trouble reading your prescription label, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.
If you’re having trouble opening medication bottles, ask your pharmacist about putting Glucotrol XL in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.
If you miss your dose of Glucotrol XL, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip your missed dose and take your next dose at the scheduled time.
Do not take two doses at once to make up for your missed dose. This can increase your risk for side effects such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). See this article for more information about Glucotrol XL’s side effects.
If you use more Glucotrol XL than your doctor prescribes, you may develop side effects such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). In some cases, severe hypoglycemia (extremely low blood sugar) can be life threatening and may need to be treated in the hospital.
It’s important that you do not take more Glucotrol XL than your doctor prescribes.
Symptoms of severe hypoglycemia can include:
- rapid heart rate
- confusion and trouble concentrating
- blurred vision
- tingling sensation
- slurred speech
- loss of consciousness
If you take more than the recommended amount of Glucotrol XL
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Glucotrol XL. Another option is to call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions
Can Glucotrol XL be used for type 1 diabetes? If so, what’s the dosage?
Glucotrol XL would not be effective in people with type 1 diabetes. The drug works to lower blood sugar levels by stimulating your body to release insulin. With type 1 diabetes, your body doesn’t produce insulin. Similarly, if you have type 2 diabetes but your body no longer makes insulin, your doctor likely won’t recommend Glucotrol XL.
If you have questions about diabetes and Glucotrol XL, talk with your doctor.
Will my dosage change if I’m age 65 years or older?
It’s possible. Clinical trials didn’t show a difference in the safety or effectiveness of Glucotrol XL in people ages 65 years and older. However, older adults may be more sensitive to the drug’s effects.
If you’re age 65 years or older, your doctor may prescribe a lower starting dosage of 2.5 milligrams once per day. They’ll likely monitor you closely for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Your doctor may also adjust your dosage during your treatment depending on how your body responds to the drug and any side effects you may experience.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions about the safest Glucotrol XL dosage for you.
To learn more about Glucotrol XL’s dosage, see the “Dosage for type 2 diabetes” section above.
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Glucotrol XL, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of Glucotrol XL without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Glucotrol XL that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Glucotrol XL. These additional articles might be helpful:
- More about Glucotrol XL. For information about other aspects of Glucotrol XL, refer to this article.
- Details about type 2 diabetes. For details about type 2 diabetes, see our diabetes hub.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.