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Glibenclamdie (glyburide in America) is a common and useful drug for type 2 diabetes. It is effective and the blood sugar lowering effect long-lasting. However, the strength is also a weakness: it can sometimes be so powerful that the patient can suffer prolonged hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level).
The Health Sciences Authority of Singapore had looked at the data and found that in Singapore, patients who are above 60 or those with kidney failure have a much increased risk of severe and protracted hypoglycemia. They have now advised all doctors to avoid using glibenclamide in those patients.
There are many other alternative drugs in the same class such as gliclazide and they are also generics, available at a low price at our clinics.
If you are taking glibenclamide and had recently turned 60 or have renal failure, please do not stop your medicine immediately, but talk to your doctor about it.