Health Encyclopedia > Medications

chlorpropamide

Pronunciation: klor PROE pa mide

Brand: Diabinese

Chloropropamide 250 mg-MYL

round, green, imprinted with MYLAN 210, 250

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Chlorpropamide 100 mg-MYL

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

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

Before taking chlorpropamide, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, a disorder of your pituitary or adrenal glands, a history of heart disease, or if you are malnourished.

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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 chlorpropamide.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can occur if you skip a meal, exercise too long, drink alcohol, or are under stress. Symptoms include headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, irritability, or trouble concentrating. Carry hard candy or glucose tablets with you in case you have low blood sugar. Other sugar sources include orange juice and milk. Be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.

Signs of blood sugar that is too high (hyperglycemia) may include increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, and weight loss. Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need to adjust your chlorpropamide dose.

Chlorpropamide is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, foot care, eye care, 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 is chlorpropamide?

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

Chlorpropamide is used together with diet and exercise to treat type 2 diabetes. Other diabetes medicines are sometimes used in combination with chlorpropamide if needed.

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Chlorpropamide should not be used by itself to treat type 1 diabetes.

Chlorpropamide may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my doctor before taking chlorpropamide?

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

To make sure you can safely take chlorpropamide, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • a disorder of your pituitary or adrenal glands;
  • a history of heart disease; or
  • if you are malnourished.
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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 chlorpropamide.

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FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether chlorpropamide will harm an unborn baby. Similar diabetes medications have caused severe hypoglycemia in newborn babies whose mothers had used the medication near the time of delivery. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

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Chlorpropamide can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking chlorpropamide.

How should I take chlorpropamide?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Chlorpropamide is usually taken once per day with breakfast. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor's office. Visit your doctor regularly.

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Know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and how to recognize them: headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, irritability, or trouble concentrating.

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. 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. 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, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, and weight loss.

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

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Ask your doctor how to adjust your chlorpropamide dose if needed. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.

Chlorpropamide 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.

Use chlorpropamide regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

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

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember (take the medication with food if your doctor instructs you to). Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. A chlorpropamide overdose can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia.

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

What should I avoid while taking chlorpropamide?

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

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Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Chlorpropamide can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

What are the possible side effects of chlorpropamide?

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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 chlorpropamide. Symptoms include headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, irritability, trouble concentrating, rapid breathing, fast heartbeat, fainting, or seizure (severe hypoglycemia can be fatal). Carry hard candy or glucose tablets with you in case you have low blood sugar.

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Stop taking chlorpropamide and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • pale skin, fever, confusion;
  • trouble concentrating, memory problems, feeling unsteady, hallucinations;
  • feeling light-headed, fainting;
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • throbbing headache, sweating, severe nausea, trouble breathing, fast or pounding heartbeats, blurred vision, spinning sensation; or
  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • mild hunger; or
  • mild 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.

What other drugs will affect chlorpropamide?

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

  • exenatide (Byetta);
  • probenecid (Benemid);
  • some 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);
  • a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven); and
  • other oral diabetes medications, especially acarbose (Precose), metformin (Glucophage), miglitol (Glyset), pioglitazone (Actos), or rosiglitazone (Avandia).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with chlorpropamide. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about chlorpropamide.


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.

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