What is it used for?

  • Type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes, when diet, exercise and weight loss have failed to fully control blood sugar.

How does it work?

Glizid Gliclazide tablets contain the active ingredient gliclazide, which is a type of medicine called a sulphonylurea. Gliclazide is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine. Gliclazide is used to help control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

People with type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes) have a deficiency of a hormone called insulin. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and is the main hormone responsible for controlling sugar levels in the blood. It normally makes the cells of the body remove excess sugar from the blood.

In type 2 diabetes insulin is produced inefficiently in response to surges of blood sugar, such as following a meal. The cells of the body also become resistant to the action of insulin that is produced, which means that blood sugar levels can become too high.

Gliclazide works mainly by stimulating the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. These cells are called beta cells. Gliclazide causes the beta cells to produce more insulin, which helps to lower the amount of sugar in the blood.

Gliclazide improves insulin production immediately after eating. This is called early or first phase insulin secretion. The enhanced insulin production results in a blood sugar lowering effect in response to meals or glucose, as occurs naturally in people without diabetes.

Gliclazide also has effects in the blood vessels. It has been shown to prevent blood cells called platelets from clumping together in the blood. It also increases the breakdown of blood clots that form within the blood vessels. This may help prevent the long-term complications of diabetes, which may be partly due to changes in the blood vessels caused by these mechanisms.

How do I take it?

  • The dose prescribed and how often to take this medicine depends on how well your blood sugar is controlled, among other things. Follow the instructions given by your doctor. These should also be printed on the dispensing label that your pharmacist has put on the medicine.
  • Take your tablets with a drink of water before a meal. If your doctor has asked you to take this medicine once a day, take your tablets before breakfast. If your doctor has asked you to take the medicine twice a day, take your tablets before breakfast and before your evening meal.
  • It is important to take this medicine on a regular basis every day.
  • If you forget to take a dose just take your next dose as usual when it is due. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.

Not to be used in

  • Children under 12 years of age.
  • People who are allergic to other sulphonylurea medicines, eg glibenclamide, tolbutamide.
  • People who are allergic to sulphonamide-type medicines, eg the antibiotic sulfamethoxazole.
  • Type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes.
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis.
  • Diabetic coma or pre-coma (due to ketoacidosis in severe and inadequately treated diabetes).
  • People with severely decreased kidney function.
  • People with severely decreased liver function.
  • People with rare inherited blood disorders called porphyrias.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Breastfeeding.
  • Zicron tablets contain lactose and should not be taken by people with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption.

Side effects

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Disturbances of the gut such as diarrhoea, constipation, indigestion, nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain.
  • Temporary visual disturbances at start of treatment.
  • Low blood glucose level (hypoglycaemia). See the warning section above.
  • Skin reactions such as rash, itching or hives, which may rarely progress to more serious allergic skin reactions.
  • Disturbance in liver function, inflammation of the liver (hepatitis). See the warning section above.
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice).
  • Disturbances in the normal levels of blood cells in the blood. This is rare, however tell your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms, as they may indicate a problem with your blood cells: unexplained bruising or bleeding, purple spots, sore throat, mouth ulcers, high temperature (fever), feeling tired or general illness. Your doctor may want to take a blood test to check your blood cells.