Before you begin taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should take this medication.
Alcohol use: Gliclazide can cause an unpleasant "intolerance reaction" to alcohol. People taking gliclazide may experience flushing, warmth, nausea, giddiness, and possibly increased heart rate when they use alcohol. To prevent this reaction, avoid drinking alcohol.
Anemia: If you have a condition called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, gliclazide may cause hemolytic anemia (an abnormal breakdown of red blood cells). If you have G6PD deficiency, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Diabetes complications: Similar to other medications for diabetes, the use of gliclazide will not prevent the development of complications of diabetes.
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar): Gliclazide, like other sulfonylurea drugs, can cause symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) including dizziness, lack of energy, drowsiness, headache, and sweating have been observed. Weakness, nervousness, shakiness, and numbness or tingling have also been reported. Severe hypoglycemia can result from taking any of the sulfonylurea drugs. Seniors, those with reduced liver or kidney function, and those who are fragile or malnourished are more likely to have low blood sugar with these drugs. Low blood sugar is more likely to occur when food intake is inadequate or after strenuous or prolonged physical exercise. Monitor your blood glucose regularly and keep an emergency glucose (and glucagon kit) available in case you need to increase your blood sugar levels.
Illness/stress: People on gliclazide therapy may experience loss of blood sugar control during illness or stressful situations such as trauma or surgery. Under these conditions, your doctor may consider stopping the drug and prescribing insulin until the situation improves.
Kidney function: Kidney disease or reduced kidney function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may want to test your liver function regularly with blood tests while you are taking this medication.
Gliclazide may reduce liver function. If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain or swelling, and itchy skin, contact your doctor immediately.
Proper diet: The use of gliclazide must be considered as treatment in addition to proper diet and not as a substitute for diet.
Worsening of condition: Over time, gliclazide may become less effective because of your diabetes worsening. If gliclazide no longer controls blood glucose to target levels, it should be stopped and another medication added. Talk to your doctor if you find that your blood sugar levels are not controlled.
Pregnancy: Gliclazide may cause harm to the developing baby if it is taken by the mother during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if gliclazide passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
Seniors: Seniors may be more likely to experience side effects of this medication, particularly low blood sugar.