Glucotrol XL is an extended release drug that is prescribed to control blood glucose levels in those with type 2 diabetes and will not treat type 1 as there is no insulin production at all. A type 2 diabetic is still able to produce some insulin but may not be able to properly use the insulin they have available. This can sometimes be controlled with a healthier diet, exercise, and no more smoking. For those that find it hard to manage their blood glucose (sugar) with a lifestyle change, the doctor may recommend trying Glucotrol XL while still trying to maintain a healthy weight and remaining active.
Glucotrol XL or the generic Glipizide is an oral sulfonylurea medication. When taken as directed, Glucotrol XL stimulates your pancreas so it will produce more insulin from the beta cells. This will allow any sugar from your meals to be taken up by cells that store it for energy instead of staying in your bloodstream and causing your glucose levels to rise. Without proper control of blood sugar, you are at risk for kidney damage, nerve problems, and a possible heart attack or stroke. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Insulin is a hormone that is found in small packets inside the beta cells of your pancreas. As calcium concentrations increase inside these cells, the packets of insulin are released to control sugar levels and transport it to other cells until it’s needed, for example, during times of physical exertion. When you take Glucotrol XL with your breakfast, it will work throughout the day to take up excess sugar after meals.
It is not advised to skip any meals or snacks as the insulin is still being produced and if there is no sugar to transport for energy later, hormones are released that break down fat as fuel instead. If you have a job or other activity that may cause you to miss a meal, make sure you at least have a small snack that contains carbohydrates so the insulin has something to work on.
Talk to your doctor before taking Glucotrol XL if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast feeding to be certain it is safe to do so. Tell your doctor about other medical conditions or allergies you have and list any current OTC or Rx drugs you are taking, including herbal remedies and vitamin or dietary supplements so you are confident Glucotrol XL is the right medication for you.
If you are scheduled for a dental or surgical procedure that requires fasting, tell the medical staff you take Glucotrol XL and ask how to proceed. Keep a record of blood sugar readings for your doctor as dosage adjustments may be needed depending on your activities, such as regular work-outs, sitting long hours, or adding/skipping meals regularly. Glucotrol XL is not a cure for diabetes and you should not expect it to do all the work for you. Talk to a dietician or nutritionist for help planning healthy meals and snacks.