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Antidiabetic medications - sulfonylureas

Antidiabetic medications - sulfonylureas

Sulfonylurea antidiabetic medications include:

  • Acetohexamide (Dymelor)
  • Glimepiride (Amaryl)
  • Chlorpropamide (Diabinese)
  • Glipizide (Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL)
  • Glyburide (Diaßeta, Glynase PresTab, and Micronase)
  • Tolazamide (Tolinase)
  • Tolbutamide (Orinase and Tol-Tab)


Taking sulfonylureas except glimepiride may deplete coenzyme Q10.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is required for the production of energy in your body. It also acts as an antioxidant. It is very rare to be deficient in CoQ10, but some of the symptoms may include:

  • Muscle weakness and pain
  • Fatigue
  • Weakened immune system

Low levels of CoQ10 over a long time may be linked to heart diseases, diabetes mellitus, and high blood pressure.


Sodium deficiency is rare because it is widely available in dietary sources. When it does occur, low levels have been associated with:

  • Weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Memory impairment
  • Reduced attention
  • Muscle cramps
  • Strong, rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Lack of energy
  • Restlessness

Severe cases can cause seizures, loss of consciousness, and possibly coma. The development of symptoms depends on how fast you lose sodium.

Editorial Note

The information presented here covers some of the nutrients that may be affected when you take certain medicines. If you have any of these signs and symptoms, it does not always mean you have low levels of these nutrients.

Factors that affect the level of nutrients are:

  • Your medical history
  • Diet
  • Lifestyle
  • How long you have been taking the medicine

Please talk to your health care provider. They can best address your health care needs and see if you are at risk for low levels of any nutrients.

Supporting Research

Cole JB, Roberts DJ. Cardiovascular drugs. In: Marx JA, Hockberger R, Walls R, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 152.

Gold Standard Drug Database: Drug Monograph: Acetohexamide, 2016.!/content/drug_monograph/6-s2.0-6. Accessed July7, 2016.

Gold Standard Drug Database: Drug Monograph: Chlorpropamide, 2016.!/content/drug_monograph/6-s2.0-121. Accessed July7, 2016.

Gold Standard Drug Database: Drug Monograph: Glimepiride.!/content/drug_monograph/6-s2.0-276. Accessed July7, 2016.

Gold Standard Drug Database: Drug Monograph: Glipizide, 2016.!/content/drug_monograph/6-s2.0-277. Accessed July7, 2016.

Gold Standard Drug Database: Drug Monograph: Glyburide, 2016.!/content/drug_monograph/6-s2.0-279. Accessed July7, 2016.

Gold Standard Drug Database: Drug Monograph: Tolazamide, 2016.!/content/drug_monograph/6-s2.0-617. Accessed July7, 2016.

Gold Standard Drug Database: Drug Monograph: Tolbutamide, 2016.!/content/drug_monograph/6-s2.0-618. Accessed July7, 2016.

Jeske AH. Complementary and alternative medications and dietary supplements. In: Jeske AH, ed. Mosby's Dental Drug Reference. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2014:appendix H.

Mischley LK, Allen J, Murray MT. Coenzyme Q10. In: Pizzorno PE, Murray MT, eds. Textbook Of Natural Medicine. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2013:chap 79.

Shenkin A, Roberts NB. Vitamins and trace elements. In: Burtis CA, Ashwood ER, Bruns DE, eds. Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics. 5th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 31.


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      Review Date: 9/19/2016  

      Reviewed By: Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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