What is Chlorpropamide (Diabinese)?

Chlorpropamide, also known by its brand name Diabinese, is an oral diabetes medication that is prescribed together with diet and exercise to treat type 2 diabetic patients. Patients with type 2 diabetes cannot produce enough amounts of insulin amounts or their body becomes insulin resistant. Without insulin, the body cannot use glucose for energy, which leads to high levels of blood sugar. This is where this medication comes in to regulate high blood glucose levels. It is important to control high levels of blood glucose, so as to prevent the risk of complications such as nerve damage, kidney problems, loss of limbs, and blindness. The drug belongs to a class of medications known as sulfonylureas. Sulfonylureas, like Diabinese, work by stimulating the beta cells in the pancreas to produce more insulin when blood sugar levels rise. Since chlorpropamide require the body to naturally produce insulin, this sulfonylurea drug cannot be used to treat patients with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic medical condition where the beta cells fail to produce insulin as a result of being attacked by the immune system. This drug is normally prescribed to patients with type 2 diabetes if weight control, exercise and diet have failed to control their blood sugar levels.

Chlorpropamide Dosage

The dosage of chlorpropamide is based on your response to treatment, age and other medical conditions. Usually, for adults between the ages of 18 to 64, the initial dose is between 100mg to 250mg daily. The drug is supposed to be taken orally once per day with the first meal of the day, usually breakfast. To help you remember your dosage, it is recommended you take this medicine at the same time every day. In case the drug results in upset stomach, you should talk to your doctor. However, you should not increase or decrease your dosage of diabinese without your doctor’s knowledge. Do not stop taking diabinese even if your condition improves. If you stop taking your medication suddenly, your blood sugar levels may rise. With time, high blood sugar levels may be harmful to your nerves, kidneys, or eyes. In case you missed a dose, do not double your next dose to make up for what you missed. Instead, take the missed dose immediately after you remember it. If the next diabinese dose is near, skip the dose you missed and continue with your normal dosing schedule.

Side effects

Unfortunately, taking chlorpropamide to control blood sugar levels may result in undesirable side effects in some patients. In case you experience any of the following side effects, you should call your doctor right away.

Common side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach

In case you have the following serious side effects of this medication, you should seek emergency help immediately.

Serious side effects include:

  • Hypoglycemia with symptoms such as confusion, shakiness, rapid heartbeat, nausea, and fatigue.
  • Allergic reactions will cause signs like hives, rash, trouble breathing, swelling of tongue, face or throat, and wheezing.

Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.