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Complementary and Alternative Medicine - Cam

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Topic Contents

Glyburide

Drug Information

Glyburide is a sulfonylurea drug used to lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes . Maintaining normal blood sugar levels helps reduce health problems associated with diabetes. People with diabetes should consult with their doctor before starting or stopping any form of treatment including drug therapy, herbal products, supplements, and others.

Consumption of a high-fiber diet and/or supplementation with nutrients such as chromium , biotin , vitamin E , and others or herbs such as gymnema will often improve blood-sugar control in diabetics. In such cases, the amount of blood sugar-lowering drugs may need to be reduced in order to avoid a hypoglycemic reaction. Anyone taking medication for diabetes should consult the prescribing physician before making dietary changes or taking nutrients or herbs that are designed to lower blood-sugar levels.

Common brand names:

Diabeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase

Summary of Interactions with Vitamins, Herbs, & Foods

Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check

Replenish Depleted Nutrients

  • none

Reduce Side Effects

  • none

Support Medicine

  • Aloe

    One single-blind study in Thailand reported that combining 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of aloe (Aloe vera) juice twice daily with glyburide significantly improved blood sugar and lipid levels in people with diabetes, compared with placebo.1 Previously, glyburide by itself had not effectively controlled the diabetes in the people in this study.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

Reduces Effectiveness

  • none

Potential Negative Interaction

  • Ginkgo

    In a preliminary trial, administration of Ginkgo biloba extract (120 mg per day) for three months to patients with type 2 diabetes who were taking oral anti-diabetes medication resulted in a significant worsening of glucose tolerance. Ginkgo did not impair glucose tolerance in individuals whose diabetes was controlled by diet.2 Individuals taking oral anti-diabetes medication should consult a doctor before taking Ginkgo biloba.

Explanation Required 

  • Biotin
  • Chromium

    Chromium supplements have been shown to improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes.3 Consequently, supplementing with chromium could reduce blood sugar levels in people with taking glyburide, potentially resulting in abnormally low blood sugar levels ( hypoglycemia ). While chromium supplementation may be beneficial for people with diabetes, its use in combination with glyburide or with any other blood sugar-lowering medication should be supervised by a doctor.

  • Gymnema
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

References

1. Bunyapraphatsara N, Yongchaiyudha S, Rungpitarangsi V, Chokechaijaroenporn O. Antidiabetic activity of Aloe vera L. juice. II. Clinical trial in diabetes mellitus patients in combination with glibenclamide. Phytomed 1996;3:245–8.

2. Kudolo GB. The effect of 3-month ingestion of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) on pancreatic beta-cell function in response to glucose loading in individuals with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. J Clin Pharmacol 2001;41:600–11.

3. Anderson RA, Cheng N, Bryden NA, Polansky MM, Cheng N, Chi J, et al. Elevated intakes of supplemental chromium improve glucose and insulin variables in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes1997;46:1786–91.

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