Sulfonylurea - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Sulfonylurea: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is Sulfonylurea?

Sulfonylureas are a group of drugs that are primarily used in the treatment of Type-2 Diabetes. In Type-2 Diabetes, the body does not use the hormone insulin properly. This leads to increased or elevated blood sugar levels leading to diabetes. Sulfonylureas work by increasing the amounts of insulin that is released by the Pancreas.

What are the uses of Sulfonylurea?

As is stated above, Sulfonylureas are used in the treatment of Diabetes. However, this is not the only treatment protocol recommended for Diabetics. Doctors usually prescribe Sulfonylureas along with lifestyle changes such as a balanced diet and a strict exercise regimen. Taking these drugs and managing diabetes with lifestyle changes can prevent cardio-vascular diseases and other complications.

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What are the side effects of Sulfonylurea?

Sulfonylureas are not free from side effects. Some of the common side effects associated with Sulfonylureas are:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Sweating, dizziness, confusion, and nervousness
  • Extreme hunger
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  •  Skin allergies and reactions
  • Dark urine and an upset stomach


Frequently Asked Questions about Sulfonylurea

1. Are Sulfonylureas Safe?

As sulfonylureas are used in the management and treatment of Type-2 Diabetes. They are safe provided they are taken in strict accordance with what the doctor has prescribed. Sulfonylureas should not be taken by people who are suffering from Type-1 Diabetes as this can lead to a dangerous condition called as Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

2. Do Sulfonylureas Contain Sulfa?

Sulfonylureas are some of the drugs that have sulfonamides as a part of their structure. People having a sulfa allergy could also possibly react to these drugs due to the presence of cross-reactivity. A small percentage of the population has been found to be allergic to sulfonamide drugs.

3. Do Sulfonylureas cause weight gain?

Sulfonylureas are associated with the risk of developing severe Hypoglycemia. When combined with other agents, there is a chance of gaining weight anywhere in the range of 2.01 and 2.3 kgs as compared to that of a placebo.

4. Is Sulfonylurea better than Metformin?

Diabetes management with Sulfonylureas is associated with the highest risk of mortality and hypoglycemic episodes as compared to the medication Metformin. In patients suffering from CKD, Metformin may be considered as a better alternative to Sulfonylureas.

5. Why are Sulfonylureas Bad?

While Sulfonylureas are good medications, they are not as safe and as effective as Metformin for the treatment and management of Diabetes. They are said to cause significant Hypoglycemia, weight gain and burn out of the Pancreas. All other medications stay neutral when it comes to weight. Many people use Sulfonylureas because of their cost.

6. Does Sulfonylurea cause Erectile Dysfunction?

No, on the contrary, Sulfonylureas can elevate Testosterone levels and thus increase libido and erectile function in men. On the other hand, Metformin is associated with a lowered sex drive and Erectile Dysfunction. Sulfonylureas don’t usually lead to impotence. However, the damage to blood vessels from diabetes can lead to impotence in men.

7. What is the difference between Biguanides and Sulfonylureas?

Unlike Sulfonylureas, Biguanides do not have any direct effect on the stimulation and release of Insulin from the Pancreas. However, there are some similarities between the two drugs when it comes to their extra pancreatic effects. A combination of the two is used in the treatment of diabetes for better management of the disease.

8. Is Glipizide a Sulfonylurea?

Yes, Glipizide is a class of medications that belong to Sulfonylureas. They stimulate the Pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone that regulates the blood sugar level in the body. These drugs help the body to use the insulin released by the Pancreas more efficiently.

9. Is Januvia a Sulfonylurea?

Januvia is not a Sulfonylurea. However, it is used as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in patients suffering from Type-2 Diabetes. This drug should not be used in patients suffering from Diabetes, Type-1. Some of these drugs, when used in conjunction with Sulfonylureas, were said to reduce the severity and frequency of hypoglycemic episodes.

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.