Myocardial sarcolemmal ATP-dependent potassium (KATP) channels, which are normally closed by high ATP concentration, open during ischemia when ATP generation decreases favoring K+ efflux. This reduces action potential duration (APD) decreasing the time of Ca2+ influx and Ca2+ overload. This behavior suggested that they might be involved in the protection against stunning and arrhythmias and in the mechanism of ischemic preconditioning. Sulfonylureas, used as hypoglycemic agents for the treatment of type 2 diabetes also block myocardial KATP channels prolonging APD during ischemia, which by allowing Ca2+ entry for a longer period of time, is potentially harmful to the heart. Controversial findings have been reported regarding the protective effect of sulfonylureas. Due to their importance in the clinical setting, their action on the heart of large conscious animal models is relevant. The effect of glibenclamide, a representative sulfonylurea, has been studied in a conscious sheep model submitted to regional 12 min ischemia. Glibenclamide (0.4 mg/kg) completely blocked KATP channels, as assessed by monophasic APD, producing a deleterious effect on reperfusion-induced arrhythmias and myocardial recovery from stunning in normal animals. This adverse effect was more noticeable in alloxan-induced diabetic sheep, where a lower dose (0.1 mg/kg) inhibited KATP channel opening worsening mechanical recovery and arrhythmia incidence. However, glibenclamide did not abolish ischemic late preconditioning against stunning and arrhythmias in normal animals. Because diabetic sheep do not develop this cardioprotective phenomenon, probably due to KATP channel dysfunction, it was not possible to assess glibenclamide effect on preconditioning in this pathological condition. In conclusion, in large conscious animals, glibenclamide interferes with the beneficial action of KATP channel opening during acute ischemia-reperfusion events both in normal and diabetic animals. Therefore, despite some studies claiming no added cardiovascular risk due to glibenclamide treatment, this pharmacological agent should be further investigated to ensure its safe administration in patients with concurrent heart disease.