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. This medication helps your body respond better to insulin produced by your pancreas.

Amaryl is used together with diet and exercise to treat type 2 diabetes. Insulin or other diabetes medicines are sometimes used in combination with this medicine if needed.

Amaryl may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

Do 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).

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.

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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.

Amaryl is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. Changing any of these factors can affect your blood sugar levels.

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 you can safely take Amaryl, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • heart disease;
  • 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 Amaryl. It is not known whether glimepiride passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Amaryl without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

How should I take Amaryl?

Take Amaryl exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Amaryl is usually taken once a day with breakfast or the first main meal of the day. Follow your doctor's instructions. Take Amaryl with a full glass of water. Know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and how to recognize them: headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremor, irritability, or trouble concentrating.

Always keep a source of sugar available in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar. Sugar sources include orange juice, glucose gel, candy, or milk. If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use an injection of glucagon. Your doctor can give you a prescription for a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to give the injection.

Your dose needs may change if you are ill, if you have a fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency.

Ask your doctor how to adjust your Amaryl dose if needed. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.

Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor's office. Visit your doctor regularly.

Amaryl is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, foot care, eye care, dental care, and testing your blood sugar. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. Changing any of these factors can affect your blood sugar levels.

Store Amaryl 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.

Use Amaryl regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia.

Symptoms of severe hypoglycemia include extreme weakness, confusion, tremors, sweating, trouble speaking, blurred vision, nausea, fainting, and seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid?

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 any of these serious side effects while taking Amaryl:

  • severe skin rash, itching, redness, or irritation;

  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, fever, unusual weakness;

  • numbness or tingly feeling;

  • trouble breathing;

  • feeling like you might pass out;

  • dark urine, clay-colored stools;

  • upper stomach pain, low fever, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, feeling restless or irritable, confusion, hallucinations, muscle pain or weakness, and/or seizure.

Less serious Amaryl side effects may include:

  • dizziness, headache, tired feeling;

  • mild nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea;

  • increased skin sensitivity to sunlight; or

  • mild itching or skin rash.

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?

Using certain medicines can make it harder for you to tell when you have low blood sugar. Tell your doctor if you use any of the following:

  • albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin);

  • clonidine (Catapres);

  • reserpine;

  • a beta-blocker such as atenolol (Tenormin), carvedilol (Coreg), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), sotalol (Betapace), and others.

You may be more likely to have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if you take Amaryl with:

  • clarithromycin (Biaxin);

  • disopyramide (Norpace);

  • exenatide (Byetta);

  • fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem);

  • probenecid (Benemid);

  • an antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), ofloxacin (Floxin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), and others;

  • some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs);

  • aspirin or other salicylates (including Pepto-Bismol);

  • a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin and others);
  • a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI);

  • sulfa drugs (Bactrim, Gantanol, Septra, and others); or

  • other oral diabetes medications, especially acarbose (Precose), metformin (Glucophage), miglitol (Glyset), pioglitazone (Actos), or rosiglitazone (Avandia).

You may be more likely to have hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) if you take Amaryl with:

  • isoniazid;

  • diuretics (water pills);

  • steroids (prednisone and others);

  • niacin (Advicor, Niaspan, Niacor, Niaspan, Simcor, Slo-Niacin, and others);

  • phenothiazines (Compazine and others);

  • thyroid medicine (Synthroid and others);

  • birth control pills and other hormones;

  • seizure medicines (Dilantin and others);

  • diet pills; and

  • medicines to treat asthma, colds or allergies.

These lists are not complete and there are many other medicines that can increase or decrease the effects of Amaryl on lowering your blood sugar. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.

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 Amaryl only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 9.03. Revision Date: 2011-11-23, 3:46:12 PM.

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