What is Tolbutamide?
Tolbutamide is a first-generation potassium channel blocker, sulfonylurea oral hypoglycemic drug originally sold under the brand name Orinase. This drug may be used in the management of type 2 diabetes if diet alone is not effective. Tolbutamide stimulates the secretion of insulin by the pancreas. Since the pancreas must synthesize insulin for this drug to work, it is not effective in the management of type 1 diabetes. It is not routinely used due to a higher incidence of adverse effects compared to newer, second-generation sulfonylureas, such as glyburide. It generally has a short duration of action due to its rapid metabolism, so is safe for use in elderly diabetic patients.