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What Is Glyburide and Metformin Used For?

Some people may wonder, "What is glyburide and metformin used for?" Glyburide and metformin is used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. For some people, glyburide and metformin may need to be combined with other diabetes medicines. Glyburide and metformin is not recommended for use in children, and there are currently no universally accepted off-label uses for the medicine.

What Is Glyburide and Metformin Used For?

Glyburide and metformin (Glucovance®) is a prescription medication that is used to treat type 2 diabetes. Glyburide and metformin is a combination of two different diabetes medications: glyburide (DiaBeta®, Glynase®, or Micronase®) and metformin hydrochloride (Fortamet®, Glucophage®, Glucophage XR®, Glumetza®, or Riomet®).

Using Glyburide and Metformin 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. Type 2 diabetes is a condition involving insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, the cells of 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, though it is known that obesity and genetics play an important role in its development.
Glyburide and metformin is used for treating type 2 diabetes in people who cannot lower blood sugar through lifestyle changes (including weight loss, diet, and exercise) alone. The medicine is a combination of two diabetes drugs (glyburide and metformin). These two medications work differently and have different effects in the body:
  • Glyburide is part of a class of diabetes drugs called sulfonylureas. A sulfonylurea, such as glyburide, helps the pancreas make more insulin. It also helps the cells of the body respond better to insulin. 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 make insulin receptors more sensitive -- which helps the body respond better to its own insulin. All of these effects cause a decrease in blood sugar levels.
In some people, glyburide 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. For these people, using glyburide and metformin alone will not be effective. These people will need to take insulin along with glyburide and metformin.
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Glyburide and Metformin Info

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