What Is Glipizide and Metformin Used For?
What is glipizide and metformin used for? The drug is used to increase insulin production and help the body respond to it better. It also helps lower the amount of sugar produced by the liver and decrease the amount of sugar absorbed by the body. There are no off-label uses glipizide and metformin is used for at this time, nor is it used in children.
What Is Glipizide and Metformin Used For? -- An OverviewGlipizide and metformin (Metaglip®) is a prescription medication that is used to treat type 2 diabetes. It combines two different diabetes medications: glipizide (Glucotrol® or Glucotrol XL®) and metformin hydrochloride (Fortamet®, Glucophage®, Glucophage XR®, Glumetza®, or Riomet®).
Why Is Glipizide and Metformin Used for Type 2 Diabetes?Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes (see Diabetes Types). It is also sometimes called adult-onset diabetes or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. The condition involves insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, the cells of the body do not respond to insulin as well as they normally should. As a result, the cells do not take sugar out of the blood very well. This is why people with type 2 diabetes have high blood sugar.
Over time, high blood sugar can lead to a number of problems, including diabetic impotence, diabetic neuropathy, kidney failure, and heart disease (see Diabetes Complications). The cause of type 2 diabetes is not fully understood, although it is known that obesity and genetics play an important role.
Glipizide and metformin can be used to treat type 2 diabetes in people who cannot lower blood sugar through lifestyle changes alone (such as through weight loss, diet, and exercise). The two medications work differently and have different effects in the body:
- Glipizide is part of a class of diabetes medications called sulfonylureas. A sulfonylurea, such as glipizide, helps the pancreas make more insulin. It also helps the cells respond to insulin better. This helps to lower blood sugar and keep it under better control.
- Metformin works in several ways. It decreases the amount of sugar (glucose) made by the liver. It can also decrease the amount of sugar absorbed into the body from the diet and can make insulin receptors more sensitive, helping the body respond to its own insulin better. All of these effects cause a decrease in blood sugar levels.
In some people, glipizide and metformin may need to be combined with other diabetes medicines. For example, if type 2 diabetes is untreated for a very long time, the pancreas may not be able to make enough insulin anymore. Thus, using glipizide and metformin alone will not be effective, and insulin will need to be taken as well.