Please note that repaglinide is no longer available in Australia.
If you are taking repaglinide, please contact your healthcare professional, for information and advice.
Repaglinide (NovoNorm) is a medicine used for type 2 diabetes.
Most medicines have two names: the active ingredient and the brand name. The active ingredient (repaglinide) is the chemical in the medicine that makes it work. The brand name (NovoNorm) is the name given to the medicine by its manufacturer.
What does repaglinide do?
Repaglinide lowers blood glucose levels by increasing insulin production by the pancreas.
What are the benefits of taking repaglinide?
While repaglinide (NovoNorm) was been tested in clinical trials quite a while ago, it is usually prescribed for a small number of people with type 2 diabetes for whom other diabetes medicines are unsuitable. It reduces blood glucose, but any other benefits are unknown because it has not been widely used. There is also not enough information to know if it reduces the long-term complications of diabetes (such as heart disease or stroke).
Who can take repaglinide?
Repaglinide is usually prescribed for a small number of people with type 2 diabetes for whom other diabetes medicines are unsuitable.
Repaglinide is not suitable for people:
- with severe liver problems
- with ketoacidosis
- taking gemfibrozil — used to reduce fats (triglycerides) and cholesterol in the blood.
What are the side effects of repaglinide?
Common side effects with repaglinide (NovoNorm) include:
- hypoglycaemia (the likelihood is similar to that with sulfonylureas)
- stomach problems including pain, nausea, heartburn, indigestion, cramps, diarrhoea, or constipation are common.
Vomiting and skin rashes can occur, but are uncommon.
Liver problems and jaundice are rare side effects.
Who can I ask about side effects?
If you’re concerned that you or someone in your care may have had side effects related to a medicine, seek medical advice. People with questions about their medicines or seeking general information about side effects can also call the NPS Medicines Line on 1300 633 424 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm).To report possible side effects call the Adverse Medicine Events (AME) line on 1300 134 237 from anywhere in Australia (Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm AEST).
It is important for people to tell their health professional about all the medicines they are taking — prescription, over-the-counter and complementary (herbal/‘natural’/vitamin/mineral) medicines — as they may interact with diabetes medicines and affect blood glucose levels. This may mean that your doctor will need to adjust your dose of repaglinide, or make changes to your other medicines.
Apart from these, other medicines that may interact with repaglinide and may affect blood glucose control including:*
- azole antifungal agents — used to treat fungal infections (e.g. itraconazole)
- some antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections (e.g. rifampicin, trimethoprim, clarithromycin)
- gemfibrozil — used to reduce high cholesterol and fats (triglycerides) in the blood
- cyclosporin — used to prevent organ transplant rejection.
*As there are often many different brands of one medicine, we have only listed the active ingredients of the medicines here. To find out more, read our information about active ingredients and brand names.
Phone for medicines information
Call NPS Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424) to get information about your prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines (herbal, ‘natural’, vitamins and mineral supplements) from a pharmacist. Your call will be answered by healthdirect Australia.
- Craig ME, Twigg SM, Donaghue KC, et al for the Australian Type 1 Diabetes Guidelines Expert Advisory Group. National evidence-based clinical care guidelines for type 1 diabetes in children, adolescents and adults. Canberra: Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, 2011. www.diabetessociety.com.au/downloads/Type1guidelines14Nov2011.pdf (accessed 15 November 2011).
- Rossi S, ed. eAMH [online]. Adelaide: Australian Medicines Handbook, July 2012.
- Sweetman S, ed. Martindale: The complete drug reference [online]. London: Pharmaceutical Press. www.medicinescomplete.com/mc/martindale/current/ (accessed 18 October 2011).
- Baxter K, ed. Stockley's drug interactions: A source book of interactions, their mechanisms, clinical importance and management. 9th edn. London: Pharmaceutical Press, May 2010. www.medicinescomplete.com/mc/stockley/current/ (accessed 18 October 2011).
- The relevant consumer medicine information and product information have been consulted for every medicine discussed.