In this drug factsheet:
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- abdominal pain
- back, muscle, or joint pain
- nausea or vomiting
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- high blood pressure
- skin rash or hives
- swelling of the legs or unexpected weight gain
- symptoms caused by low blood sugar:
- blurred vision
- cold sweats
- difficulty concentrating
- fast heart rate
- feeling drunk
- slurred speech
- unusual tiredness
- symptoms of liver problems, e.g.:
- dark urine
- light stools
- yellowing of skin or eyes
- unusual bleeding or bruising
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- chest pain or pressure and/or shortness of breath
- symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, e.g.:
- difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- swelling of the face, lips, or throat
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should take this medication.
Alcohol use: Gliclazide can cause an unpleasant "intolerance reaction" to alcohol. People taking gliclazide may experience flushing, warmth, nausea, giddiness, and possibly increased heart rate when they use alcohol. To prevent this reaction, avoid drinking alcohol.
Diabetes complications: Similar to other medications for diabetes, the use of gliclazide will not prevent the development of complications of diabetes.
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar): Gliclazide, like other sulfonylurea drugs, can cause symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) including dizziness, lack of energy, drowsiness, headache, and sweating have been observed. Weakness, nervousness, shakiness, and numbness or tingling have also been reported. Severe hypoglycemia can result from taking any of the sulfonylurea drugs. Seniors, those with reduced liver or kidney function, and those who are fragile or malnourished are more likely to have low blood sugar with these drugs. Low blood sugar is more likely to occur when food intake is inadequate or after strenuous or prolonged physical exercise. Blood glucose should be monitored regularly and emergency glucose (and glucagon kit) kept available in case the need arises to increase blood sugar levels.
Illness/stress: People on gliclazide therapy may experience loss of blood sugar control during illness or stressful situations such as trauma or surgery. Under these conditions, the doctor may consider stopping the drug and prescribing insulin until the situation improves.
Medical conditions: If you have kidney problems, liver problems, or a condition called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Proper diet: The use of gliclazide must be considered as treatment in addition to proper diet and not as a substitute for diet.
Worsening of condition: Over a period of time, gliclazide may become less effective because of worsening of diabetes. If gliclazide no longer controls blood glucose to target levels, it should be stopped and another medication added.
Pregnancy: Pregnant women should not take gliclazide.
Breast-feeding: Breast-feeding women should not take gliclazide.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between gliclazide and any of the following:
- ACE inhibitors (e.g., enalapril)
- anticoagulants (e.g., warfarin, heparin)
- azole antifungal drugs (e.g., miconazole, clotrimazole)
- barbiturates (e.g., phenobarbital, thiopental)
- beta-blockers (e.g., metoprolol, propranolol)
- corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone)
- diuretics (e.g., thiazides, furosemide)
- fibrates (e.g., fenofibrate)
- H2 receptor antagonists (e.g., ranitidine, famotidine, cimetidine)
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors (e.g., selegiline, phenelzine)
- nicotinic acid
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen)
- oral contraceptives
- other antidiabetic drugs (e.g., insulin, metformin)
- salicylates (e.g., acetylsalicylic acid [ASA])
- tuberculosis medications (e.g., isoniazid, ethambutol)
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.