Both first-generation sulfonylureas (tolbutamide, chlorpropamide, tolazamide, and acetohexamide) and second-generation sulfonylureas (glyburide, glipizide, and glimepiride) are rapidly absorbed after oral administration. The half-lives are between 4 and 10 h with the duration of glycemic effect ranging from 6 to 24 h. The exception is chlorpropamide, which has a half-life of 25-60 h and a duration of glycemic effect of 24-72 h. Most sulfonylureas are hepatically metabolized and renally cleared. Active circulating metabolites may prolong the hypoglycemic effect, especially in individuals with acute or chronic renal impairment.

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