Acetohexamide (By mouth)

Introduction

Acetohexamide (a-seet-oh-HEX-a-mide)

Lowers the level of sugar in your blood. Used together with diet and exercise to treat Type 2 diabetes.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to acetohexamide or other diabetes drugs such as chlorpropamide, Glucotrol®, or Tolinase®. Do not use this medicine if you are in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This medicine is only for patients with Type 2 diabetes who are not using insulin to control their blood sugar. Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you forget to use the medicine before your meal, skip that dose. Do not try to make it up. Then use your next dose as planned, before your next meal.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • There are many other medicines that you should not use together with acetohexamide. This includes nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are using.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you have heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, or an adrenal or pituitary gland disorder.
  • Carefully follow your doctor's orders about diet and exercise. It is also important to check your urine or blood sugar levels as directed by your doctor.
  • This medicine will lower your blood sugar and can cause hypoglycemia. Your blood sugar may also get too low if you miss a meal, exercise for a long time, drink alcohol, or use other medicines that lower your blood sugar.
  • If your blood sugar gets too low, you may feel weak, drowsy, confused, anxious, or very hungry. You may also sweat, shake, or have blurred vision, a fast heartbeat, or a headache that will not go away. If you have symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), check your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is 70 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) or below, do one of the following: Drink 4 ounces (one-half cup) of fruit juice, or eat 5 to 6 pieces of hard candy, or take 2 to 3 glucose tablets. Recheck your blood sugar 15 minutes later. If your blood sugar goes above 70 mg/dL, eat a snack or a meal. If your blood sugar is still below 70 mg/dL, drink one-half cup juice, or eat 5 to 6 pieces of candy, or take 2 to 3 glucose tablets. Carry candy or some type of sugar with you at all times, especially if you are away from home. You can take this if you feel that your blood sugar is too low, even if you do not have a blood glucose meter. Always carefully follow your doctor's instructions about how to treat your low blood sugar. Learn what to do if your blood sugar gets too low. Teach friends, coworkers, and family members what they can do to help if you have low blood sugar.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach.
  • Unexplained fever, chills, or sore throat.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache, confusion, or dizziness.
  • Mild nausea or stomach pain.
  • Skin rash, hives, redness, or itching.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
Adam Data Copyright The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only--they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

For information 410.787.4000

© 2013 UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center.  All rights reserved.

301 Hospital Drive, Glen Burnie, MD 21061 | 410-787-4000 | TTY 410-787-4498