Generic Name: glimepiride (glye MEP ir ide)
Brand Names: Amaryl
What is Amaryl?
Amaryl (glimepiride) is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels.
Amaryl is used together with diet and exercise to treat type 2 diabetes. Insulin or other diabetes medicines are sometimes used in combination with Amaryl if needed.
Amaryl may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use Amaryl if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).
Before taking Amaryl, tell your doctor if you are allergic to sulfa drugs, or if you have heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, an enzyme deficiency (G6PD), adrenal or pituitary gland problems, or if you are under-nourished.
Take care not to let your blood sugar get too low. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can occur if you skip a meal, exercise too long, drink alcohol, or are under stress. Symptoms include headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremor, irritability, or trouble concentrating. Carry hard candy or glucose tablets with you in case you have low blood sugar. Other sugar sources include orange juice and milk. Be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Amaryl if you are allergic to glimepiride, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).
To make sure Amaryl is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
liver or kidney disease;
an allergy to sulfa drugs;
an enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD);
adrenal or pituitary gland problems; or
if you are under-nourished.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Amaryl will harm an unborn baby. Similar diabetes medications have caused severe hypoglycemia in newborn babies whose mothers had used the medication near the time of delivery. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
It is not known whether glimepiride passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take Amaryl?
Take Amaryl exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Amaryl is usually taken once a day with breakfast or the first main meal of the day. Follow your doctor's instructions. Take with a full glass of water.
Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor's office.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can happen to everyone who has diabetes. Symptoms include headache, hunger, sweating, pale skin, irritability, dizziness, feeling shaky, or trouble concentrating. Always keep a source of sugar with you in case you have low blood sugar. Sugar sources include fruit juice, hard candy, crackers, raisins, and non-diet soda. Be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.
If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use a glucagon injection. Your doctor can prescribe a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to use it.
Check your blood sugar carefully during times of stress, travel, illness, surgery or medical emergency, vigorous exercise, or if you drink alcohol or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your dose needs may also change. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.
Amaryl is only part of a treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, blood sugar testing, and special medical care. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. A Amaryl overdose can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia.
Symptoms of severe hypoglycemia include extreme weakness, confusion, tremors, sweating, fast heart rate, trouble speaking, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing, fainting, and seizure (convulsions).
What should I avoid while taking Amaryl?
If you also take colesevelam, avoid taking it within 4 hours after you take Amaryl.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It lowers blood sugar and may interfere with your diabetes treatment.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Amaryl can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
Amaryl side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Amaryl: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, fever, confusion or weakness; or
severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Common Amaryl side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Amaryl?
You may be more likely to have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if you take Amaryl with other drugs that can lower blood sugar, such as:
aspirin or other salicylates (including Pepto Bismol);
a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven);
sulfa drugs (Bactrim, SMZ-TMP, and others);
a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI); or
insulin or other oral diabetes medications.
This list is not complete, and many other medicines can increase or decrease the effects of glimepiride on lowering your blood sugar. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with glimepiride. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More about Amaryl (glimepiride)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Amaryl.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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