Glyburide's pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics have not been studied in women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). The objective of this study was to assess steady-state PK of glyburide, as well as insulin sensitivity, beta-cell responsivity, and overall disposition indices after a mixed-meal tolerance test (MMTT) in women with GDM (n = 40), nonpregnant women with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) (n = 26), and healthy pregnant women (n = 40, MMTT only). At equivalent doses, glyburide plasma concentrations were approximately 50% lower in pregnant women than in nonpregnant subjects. The average umbilical cord/maternal plasma glyburide concentration ratio at the time of delivery was 0.7 +/- 0.4. Insulin sensitivity was approximately fivefold lower in women with GDM as compared with healthy pregnant women. Despite comparable beta-cell responsivity indices, the average beta-cell function corrected for insulin resistance was more than 3.5-fold lower in women with glyburide-treated GDM than in healthy pregnant women. Women with GDM in whom glyburide treatment has failed may benefit from alternative medication or dosage escalation; however, fetal safety should be kept in mind.