What are sulfonylureas?

Updated: Oct 23, 2019
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

Sulfonylureas (eg, glyburide, glipizide, glimepiride) are insulin secretagogues that stimulate insulin release from pancreatic beta cells and probably have the greatest efficacy for glycemic lowering of any of the oral agents. However, that effect is only short-term and quickly dissipates. Sulfonylureas may also enhance peripheral sensitivity to insulin secondary to an increase in insulin receptors or to changes in the events following insulin-receptor binding.


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