The influence of a standardized breakfast on the single dose (5 mg) kinetics and effects of glipizide was examined in 9 healthy volunteers and in 14 diabetics not previously exposed to a sulfonylurea. In the volunteers, glipizide caused an increase in plasma insulin and a reduction in blood glucose both during continued fasting and when the drug was taken with the breakfast. Food intake did not influence the peak concentration, the elimination half-life or the bioavailability of the drug. However, food intake significantly delayed the absorption of glipizide by about 0.5 h. In the patients. glipizide produced a significant increase in plasma glucose in response to the meal. Starting at breakfast and for 45 min thereafter serum glipizide concentrations were significantly higher when the drug was taken 0.5 h before the meal, than when ingested concurrently with it. With the former treatment, the increase in plasma insulin occurred earlier and the blood glucose reduction was pronouncedly greater than with the latter treatment. As the absorption of glipizide may be delayed by concurrent breakfast, this may help to explain, why the administration of glipizide 0.5 h before breakfast led to a more appropriate relation between the serum concentration of the drug and the metabolic impact of the meal, thereby promoting more appropriate insulin release and better glucose disposition than after concurrent intake of the drug and breakfast.