Apo-Chlorpropamide , Chloronase, Diabinese, Glucamide, Novopropamide 
Classifications: hormone and synthetic substitute; antidiabetic sulfonylurea
Prototype: Glyburide
Pregnancy Category: C


100 mg, 250 mg tablets


Longest-acting first-generation sulfonylurea compound, structurally and pharmacologically related to tolbutamide. Although a sulfonamide derivative, it has no antiinfective activity. Lowers blood glucose by stimulating beta cells in pancreas to synthesize and release endogenous insulin. May potentiate available antidiuretic hormone (ADH) secretion, a property not shared by other sulfonylureas.

Therapeutic Effects

Antidiabetic effect is due to the ability of the drug to stimulate the beta cells of the pancreas to manufacture and release insulin. Therapeutic effectiveness is indicated by HbA1c levels >7%.


Mild to moderately severe, stable non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (type 2) in patients who cannot be controlled by diet alone and who do not have complications of diabetes.

Unlabeled Uses

Neurogenic diabetes insipidus.


Known hypersensitivity to sulfonylureas and to sulfonamides; diabetes complicated by severe infection; acidosis; severe renal, hepatic, or thyroid insufficiency. Safe use during pregnancy (category C), in nursing mothers, and in children not established.

Cautious Use

Older adult patients, Addison's disease, CHF, and hepatic porphyria.

Route & Dosage

Adult: PO Initial: 100–250 mg/d with breakfast, adjust by 50–125 mg/d q3–5d until glycemic control is achieved, up to 750 mg/d

Adult: PO 100–250 mg/d, may adjust q2–3d up to 500 mg/d



Adverse Effects (1%)

Body as a Whole: Flushing, photosensitivity, alcohol intolerance. GI: GI distress, anorexia, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, cholestatic jaundice. Hematologic: Leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, agranulocytosis. Metabolic: Hypoglycemia, antidiuretic effect (SIADH), dilutional hyponatremia, water intoxication. CNS: Drowsiness, muscle cramps, weakness, paresthesias. Skin: Rash, pruritus.


Drug: Adverse effects of oral anticoagulants, phenytoin, salicylates, nsaids may be increased along with those of chlorpropamide; thiazide diuretics may increase blood sugar; alcohol produces disulfiram reaction; probenecid, mao inhibitors may increase hypoglycemic effects. Herbal: Garlic, ginseng may increase hypoglycemic effects.


Absorption: Readily absorbed from GI tract. Onset: 1 h. Peak: 3–6 h. Distribution: Highly protein bound; distributed into breast milk. Metabolism: Metabolized in liver. Elimination: 80–90% excreted in urine in 96 h. Half-Life: 36 h.

Nursing Implications

Assessment & Drug Effects

Patient & Family Education

Common adverse effects in italic, life-threatening effects underlined; generic names in bold; classifications in SMALL CAPS; Canadian drug name; Prototype drug