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Does glipizide cause weight gain?

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Weight gainAbout glipizideWeight gain risk factorsManaging weightSide effectsAlternativesSummary
Glipizide is a type 2 diabetes medication that helps manage blood sugar levels. Side effects may include nausea, diarrhea, and possible weight gain.
Medically reviewed by Philip Ngo, PharmD
Updated on

Living with type 2 diabetes often means taking diabetes medications to help your body process insulin better. One medication is glipizide, a sulfonylurea medication.

While glipizide helps manage blood sugar levels, it may also cause side effects. Healthcare professionals can help you manage side effects and provide appropriate guidance to ensure the best results.

Does glipizide cause weight gain?

An adult pair of feet standing on some bathroom scales on a wooden floor depicting does glipizide cause weight gain?
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Glipizide can cause weight gain for some people, but there’s little scientific evidence to definitively confirm this. As a drug class, sulfonylureas do link with weight gain, but other factors may play a part. For example, if you’re taking another diabetes drug, like metformin, that can cause weight loss, your weight may stay as it is.

An older 2015 paper explains that researchers don’t fully understand the reason behind weight gain as a possible side effect. But weight gain might be linked to the medication affecting insulin and blood sugar levels in a way that could make you consume more calories. 

But other research, including a 2020 review, says that not all studies have found a conclusive link between the medication and weight gain.

Overall, more research is necessary to better understand if and how glipizide might affect your weight.

About glipizide

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves glipizide to treat type 2 diabetes alongside exercise and dietary changes.

You can buy a generic version or the branded products Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL (the extended-release version with long lasting effects).

As a 2023 article explains, glipizide is a type of sulfonylurea medication. It supports diabetes management in several ways:

  • Promotes insulin release: Glipizide helps the pancreas release more insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar (glucose) levels by allowing cells to take in sugar for energy.
  • Reduces glucose output from the liver: The medication also lowers the amount of glucose the liver produces and releases into the bloodstream.
  • Improves insulin sensitivity: Glipizide makes your body’s cells more sensitive to insulin. This makes them better at taking in glucose.
  • Affects insulin receptors: The drug increases the number of insulin receptors in muscle, fat, and liver cells. This also helps your body use insulin more efficiently.

You take glipizide by mouth. There are two types with different absorption times: 

  • Glipizide immediate release (IR): Glipizide IR is absorbed quickly after you take it, generally within a few hours. You would take it 30 minutes before meals. This medication comes in 5 milligrams (mg) and 10 mg doses.
  • Glipizide extended release (XL or ER): Glipizide ER is absorbed slowly after you take it. You only need to take it once daily, usually in the morning with your first meal. This version comes in 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg doses.

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What are the risk factors for weight gain?

Several factors can affect weight gain, and these would apply whether or not you take glipizide.

Risk factors for weight gain may include:

  • Age: Between ages 20–65, you’re more likely to steadily gain weight.
  • Genetics: Some genes may make it more likely that you develop obesity. 
  • Diet: Consuming more calories than your body uses may lead to weight gain. Eating many processed, high calorie foods and few whole foods can contribute to excess calories.
  • Physical activity: A sedentary lifestyle with minimal physical activity can also lead to weight gain. 
  • Sleep: The amount of sleep you get also plays a role in successful weight management. 
  • Medical conditions: Some conditions, like thyroid diseases, can make it easier to gain extra weight. 

How to manage weight when taking glipizide

You can try several strategies to manage your weight if you have diabetes — whether or not you take glipizide. 

A 2020 article suggests some strategies to promote a calorie deficit if you need to lose weight. These include:

  • increased physical activity
  • dietary changes
  • behavioral therapy 
  • weight loss medications 

A doctor or healthcare professional can support you with tools and resources to help you manage or lose weight.

What are the side effects of glipizide?

Beyond possible weight-related effects, glipizide can cause additional side effects. These may include:

  • low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • yellowing of the skin (jaundice)
  • allergic reactions like eczema or itching

If you experience side effects from glipizide, talk with a doctor or healthcare professional. They may recommend alternative medications or doses that you’re better able to tolerate. 

Alternative medications for type 2 diabetes

Many diabetes medications are available on the market today. These medications have various benefits and risks.

The American Diabetes Association provides a list of alternative medications, including: 

Notably, semaglutide (Ozempic) has gained recent attention for its role in promoting weight loss, according to a 2021 study. You can discuss this option with a doctor or healthcare professional if you’ve experienced weight gain from glipizide and wish to try something else. 


Living with type 2 diabetes often involves medication. Glipizide is one option that helps manage your blood sugar level, though it may also cause weight gain as a side effect. But research on this link is uncertain.

Beyond potential weight-related concerns, glipizide may cause side effects like low blood sugar, nausea, and diarrhea. 

If you experience side effects from taking glipizide, it’s best to consult a doctor or healthcare professional. They may recommend changing your medication dosage or type. There are many type 2 diabetes medication alternatives to consider. 

Download the free Optum Perks Discount Card to save up to 80% on some prescription medications.

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