glimepiride

Pronunciation

Generic Name: glimepiride (glye MEP ir ide)
Brand Name: Amaryl

What is glimepiride?

Glimepiride is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels.

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

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

What is the most important information I should know about glimepiride?

Do not use this medicine if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

What should I discuss with my doctor before taking glimepiride?

You should not use glimepiride if you are allergic to it, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).

To make sure glimepiride is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • 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 glimepiride 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.

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 glimepiride?

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.

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

Glimepiride 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 glimepiride 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 glimepiride?

If you also take colesevelam, avoid taking it within 4 hours after you take glimepiride.

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

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Glimepiride can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Glimepiride 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.

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 side effects may include:

  • headache;

  • dizziness, weakness;

  • nausea; or

  • flu symptoms.

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)

Glimepiride dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Diabetes Type 2:

Initial dose: 1 to 2 mg orally once a day.
Maintenance dose: 1 to 4 mg orally once a day.
Glimepiride should be administered with breakfast or the first main meal. Maximum recommended dose is 8 mg per day.

Usual Geriatric Dose for Diabetes Type 2:

Initial dose: 1 mg orally once a day.
Maintenance dose: 1 to 4 mg orally once a day.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Diabetes Type 2:

>8 years:
Initial dose: 1 to 2 mg orally once a day.
Maintenance dose: 1 to 4 mg orally once a day.
Glimepiride should be administered with breakfast or the first main meal. Maximum recommended dose is 8 mg per day.

What other drugs will affect glimepiride?

Other drugs may interact with glimepiride, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using. Some drugs can increase or decrease the effects of glimepiride on lowering your blood sugar.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about glimepiride.
  • 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: 10.01. Revision Date: 2014-02-17, 4:41:58 PM.

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