Sounds like 'glip-i-zide'

Easy-to-read medicine information about glipizide – what it is, how to take glipizide safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Anti-diabetic medication (to treat diabetes)
  • Belongs to a group of medicines called sulphonylureas
  • Minidiab

What is glipizide?

  • Glipizide is used to treat diabetes.
  • It works by increasing the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas and in this way lowers high blood sugar.
  • It is one of a group of medicines known as sulphonylureas.


  • The dose of glipizide will be different for different people.
  • Your doctor will usually start you on a low dose and increase the dose gradually, depending on your blood sugar level. This allows your body to get used to the medicine and reduces unwanted side effects.
  • Always take your glipizide exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much glipizide to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

How to take glipizide

  • Take glipizide at the same time each day.
  • Glipizide is best taken about half an hour (30 minutes) before meals, or at the start of your meal.
  • If you require higher doses, you may split the dose and take glipizide twice or 3 times a day.
  • Do not skip meals while taking glipizide.
  • Limit or avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking glipizide. It may cause you to feel sick (headache, stomach pains).
  • If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day.
  • But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.
  • Keep taking glipizide every day, to control your diabetes. Do not stop taking glipizide suddenly; speak to your doctor or nurse before stopping.

Special instructions

  • Sometimes glipizide may lower your blood sugar too much - called hypoglycaemia. This may cause you to feel weak, faint, dizzy, drowsy or irritable. You may get a headache, tremor (shakes) or blurred vision.
  • If this occurs, drink something sweet such as a small glass of sweetened soft drink, or fruit juice or eat something sweet such as lollies.
  • Follow this up with a snack such as a sandwich.
  • Tell your doctor or nurse if this happens.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, glipizide can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?

  • Feeling sick (nausea) or vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea 

  • These are quite common when you first start taking glipizide and usually go away with time.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome. 
  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as skin rashes, itching, redness or swelling of the face, lips, mouth or have problems breathing.
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline on 0800 611 116
  • Signs of low blood sugar such as headache, dizziness, tremor, sweating, hunger, irritability, weakness, feeling shaky or anxious.
  • Drink something sweet such as a small glass of sweetened soft drink, or fruit juice or eat something sweet such as lollies.
  • Tell your doctor.


Glipizide may interact with a number of important medications and herbal supplements so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting glipizide or before starting any new medicines.

Learn more

Medsafe Consumer Information Sheet: Minidiab

New Zealand Formulary Patient Information: Glipizide

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Dr Janine Bycroft, GP, Health Navigator NZ Last reviewed: 10 Jun 2014