Dymelor

Generic Name: acetohexamide (a SEET oh HEX a mide)
Brand Name: Dymelor

What is Dymelor (acetohexamide)?

Acetohexamide is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels. This medication helps your body respond better to insulin produced by your pancreas.

Acetohexamide is used together with diet and exercise to treat type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes.

Acetohexamide may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Dymelor (acetohexamide)?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to acetohexamide, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis. Call your doctor for treatment with insulin.

Before taking acetohexamide, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, a thyroid disorder, or a history of heart disease.

Take care to keep your blood sugar from getting too low, causing hypoglycemia. Symptoms of low blood sugar may include headache, nausea, hunger, confusion, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, blurred vision, fast heartbeat, sweating, tremor, or trouble concentrating. Carry a piece of non-dietetic hard candy or glucose tablets with you in case you have low blood sugar. Also be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.

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Also watch for signs of blood sugar that is too high (hyperglycemia). These symptoms include increased thirst, loss of appetite, increased urination, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dry skin, and dry mouth. Check your blood sugar levels and ask your doctor how to adjust your medication doses if needed.

Acetohexamide is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, 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.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Dymelor (acetohexamide)?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to acetohexamide, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis. Call your doctor for treatment with insulin.

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication. Before you take acetohexamide, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease;

  • a thyroid disorder; or

  • a history of heart disease.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether acetohexamide is harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether acetohexamide passes into breast milk or if it could be harmful to a nursing baby. Do not take acetohexamide without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Dymelor (acetohexamide)?

Take acetohexamide exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger or smaller amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

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.

Do not change your dose of acetohexamide without first talking to your doctor.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

Acetohexamide is usually taken once a day, with breakfast or the first main meal of the day. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Take care not to let your blood sugar get too low, causing hypoglycemia. You may have hypoglycemia if you skip a meal, exercise too long, drink alcohol, or are under stress.

Know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and how to recognize them. 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. Severe hypoglycemia may cause loss of consciousness, seizures, or death. 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.

Watch for signs of blood sugar that is too high (hyperglycemia). These symptoms include increased thirst, loss of appetite, increased urination, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dry skin, and dry mouth. Check your blood sugar levels and ask your doctor how to adjust your medication doses if needed.

Check your blood sugar carefully during a time of stress or illness, if you travel, exercise more than usual, or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your dose needs may also change.

Acetohexamide is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, 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.

Your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

It is important to take acetohexamide regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Store acetohexamide at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of acetohexamide can cause severe hypoglycemia.

Symptoms of severe hypoglycemia include extreme weakness, blurred vision, sweating, trouble speaking, tremors, stomach pain, confusion, seizure (convulsions), or coma.

What should I avoid while taking Dymelor (acetohexamide)?

Avoid drinking alcohol. It lowers blood sugar and may interfere with your diabetes treatment.

Avoid exposure to sunlight, sunlamps, or tanning beds. Acetohexamide can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, and a sunburn may result. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Dymelor (acetohexamide) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is the most common side effect of acetohexamide. Symptoms of low blood sugar may include headache, nausea, hunger, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, blurred vision, fast heartbeat, sweating, tremor, trouble concentrating, confusion, or seizure (convulsions). Watch for signs of low blood sugar. Carry a piece of non-dietetic hard candy or glucose tablets with you in case you have low blood sugar.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • urinating more than usual;

  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, fever, confusion or weakness;

  • nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, low fever, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • constipation, diarrhea;

  • dizziness, drowsiness;

  • mild nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;

  • mild itching or rash; or

  • headache.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Dymelor (acetohexamide)?

You may be more likely to have hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) if you are taking acetohexamide with other drugs that raise blood sugar. Drugs that can raise blood sugar include:

  • isoniazid;

  • diuretics (water pills);

  • steroids (prednisone 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.

You may be more likely to have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if you are taking acetohexamide with other drugs that lower blood sugar. Drugs that can lower blood sugar include:

  • probenecid (Benemid);

  • some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs);

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

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

  • a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI); and

  • beta-blockers (Tenormin and others).

The following drugs can interact with acetohexamide. Tell your doctor if you are using any of these:

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);

  • cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB);

  • cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune); or

  • an antifungal medication such as itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or fluconazole (Diflucan).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with acetohexamide. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about acetohexamide.
  • 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.
  • 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 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.06. Revision Date: 2008-08-19, 9:52:26 AM.

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