Compare Glucotrol vs. Human Insulin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Glucotrol XL
(glipizide)

Humulin
(human insulin)

Lowers blood sugar. Glucotrol XL (glipizide) is an effective medicine for lowering blood sugar, but it can cause your blood sugar level to be too low, so you must always carry some form of sugar with you that can be readily used.Lowers blood sugar. This form of insulin is one of the few medications in its class that you can get without a prescription, but it's expensive.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.29Glucotrol
Reviews for Glucotrol
50%
of people (All ages) say Glucotrol is worth it
32%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
332 reviews
Have you used Glucotrol XL (glipizide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Human Insulin
67%
-17% worse vs. Glucotrol
46%
-14% worse vs. Glucotrol
11%
-8% worse vs. Glucotrol
Have you used Humulin (human insulin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
GlucotrolHuman Insulin
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Nervousness 1%
  • Tremor 4%
  • Passing gas 2%
  • Low blood sugar 3%
  • Constipation 3%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Headache 2%
More Glucotrol side effects »

The Human Insulin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Human Insulin side effects »
How it works
GlucotrolHuman Insulin
Glucotrol XL (glipizide) stimulates your body to release insulin and lower blood sugar.Insulin is a hormone normally produced by your pancreas. It helps your body absorb and store sugar and fat from your bloodstream.
Type of medication
GlucotrolHuman Insulin
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
GlucotrolHuman Insulin
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Injection
  • Inhaler
Used for
GlucotrolHuman Insulin
Risk factors for serious side effects
GlucotrolHuman Insulin
  • Skipping meals or having inconsistent meal times
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Using other blood sugar-lowering medicine
  • People age 60 or older
  • Those with kidney and/or liver problems
Detailed Glucotrol XL (glipizide) risks & warnings »
    Detailed Humulin (human insulin) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy

    Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

    Alcohol
    GlucotrolHuman Insulin
    • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Glucotrol XL (glipizide).
    No alcohol related info.
    Food
    GlucotrolHuman Insulin
    • Eat regular and well-balanced meals to keep your blood sugar levels normal.
    No food related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    GlucotrolHuman Insulin
    • People with kidney and/or liver problems take a longer time to get rid of Glucotrol XL (glipizide) from their body. They are more sensitive to the effects of low blood sugar that include symptoms such as fast heartbeat, sweating, pale skin, shakiness, confusion and irritability. They need to make sure to carry with them some form of sugar such as hard candies or glucose tablets at all times while they are on this medicine.
    • Can be used in those with kidney problems.
    No kidneys and liver related info.
    Weight
    GlucotrolHuman Insulin
    • Can cause mild weight gain of 2 to 3 pounds on average.
    • People on Humulin (Human Insulin) can experience weight gain. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about changing your diet if this bothers you.
    Upsides and benefits
    GlucotrolHuman Insulin
    • Lowers A1c levels by 1-2%. (A1c is a test that measures your average blood sugars over the past 3 months).
    • Glucotrol XL (glipizide) is an oral medicine so it might be a good alternative for those who don't like injections.
    • Protects your organs and blood vessels by preventing the harmful effects of high blood sugar levels.
    • Can be used in those with kidney problems.
    • Available as a generic form and is relatively cheap.
    • Some types of this medication are available without a prescription.
    • Available as a shot to be injected into the fatty part of the skin, and as a powder to be inhaled through your nose.
    • Available in different combinations so that you can do one shot or multiple shots a day.
    Downsides and risks
    GlucotrolHuman Insulin
    • Has a higher risk than other diabetes medicine for causing blood sugar levels to be too low.
    • While taking Glucotrol XL (glipizide), your blood sugars should be checked 2 to 5 times a week, but less often once you are on a stable dose.
    • Can cause mild weight gain of 2 to 3 pounds on average.
    • Might lose its effectiveness over time.
    • Needs to be taken 30 minutes before a meal for it to be most effective.
    • Has to be taken exactly as directed or it can cause high or low blood sugar.
    • As with all insulins, you have to work with your doctor closely to make sure you're giving yourself the correct dose, or you can have low or high blood sugar.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    GlucotrolHuman Insulin
    • Take the medicine 30 minutes before eating, usually before your first big meal of the day.
    • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Glucotrol XL (glipizide).
    • Eat regular and well-balanced meals to keep your blood sugar levels normal.
    • Check your blood sugar regularly.
    • Glucotrol XL (glipizide) can cause dizziness so avoid activities that require coordination until you know how your body can handle the medicine.
    • Change the location where you give yourself the shot every time.
    • Don't use if the liquid in the vial looks different than normal.
    • Store the unopened vials in the refrigerator. The used vials can be kept at room temperature for up to 28 days.
    • Take the medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
    • Know the symptoms of low blood sugar.
    Learn more
    More about GlucotrolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Glucotrol XL (glipizide)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about Human InsulinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Humulin (human insulin)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it