(GLYE me pye ride)
Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.
Amaryl: 1 mg [scored]
Amaryl: 2 mg, 4 mg [scored; contains fd&c blue #2 aluminum lake]
Generic: 1 mg, 2 mg, 4 mg
Brand Names: U.S.
- Antidiabetic Agent, Sulfonylurea
Stimulates insulin release from the pancreatic beta cells; reduces glucose output from the liver; insulin sensitivity is increased at peripheral target sites
100%; delayed when given with food
Vd: 8.8 L
Hepatic oxidation via CYP2C9 to M1 metabolite (~33% activity of parent compound); further oxidative metabolism to inactive M2 metabolite
Urine (60%, 80% to 90% as M1 and M2 metabolites); feces (40%, 70% as M1 and M2 metabolites)
Onset of Action
Peak effect: Blood glucose reductions: 2-3 hours
Time to Peak
Duration of Action
Special Populations: Renal Function Impairment
As renal function declines, glimepiride serum levels decrease and metabolite (M1 and M2) AUC and half-lives increase.
Special Populations: Elderly
Mean AUC was about 13% lower. Mean weight-adjusted clearance was about 11% higher.
Use: Labeled Indications
Type 2 diabetes mellitus: As an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus
Hypersensitivity to glimepiride, any component of the formulation, or sulfonamides; diabetic ketoacidosis (with or without coma)
Note: Although the FDA approved product labeling states this medication is contraindicated with other sulfonamide-containing drug classes, the scientific basis of this statement has been challenged. See “Warnings/Precautions” for more detail.
Documentation of allergenic cross-reactivity for drugs in this class is limited. However, because of similarities in chemical structure and/or pharmacologic actions, the possibility of cross-sensitivity cannot be ruled out with certainty.
Canadian labeling: Additional contraindications (not in U.S. labeling): Pregnancy; breast-feeding; type 1 diabetes; severe renal or hepatic impairment
Type 2 diabetes:
Adults: Oral: Initial: 1-2 mg once daily, administered with breakfast or the first main meal; based on response, may increase dose by 1-2 mg every 1-2 weeks up to maximum of 8 mg once daily. If inadequate response to maximal dose, combination therapy with other agents (eg, metformin, insulin) may be considered. Combination therapy is individualized based on glycemic response.
Conversion from therapy with long half-life agents: Observe patient carefully for 1-2 weeks when converting from a longer half-life agent (eg, chlorpropamide) to glimepiride due to overlapping hypoglycemic effects.
Elderly: Initial: 1 mg once daily; dose titration and maintenance dosing should be conservative to avoid hypoglycemia
Dosage adjustment in renal impairment:
U.S. labeling: Initial: 1 mg once daily; titrate carefully based on fasting blood glucose levels
Mild-to-moderate impairment: Initial: 1 mg once daily; titrate carefully based on fasting blood glucose levels
Severe impairment: Use is contraindicated
Dosage adjustment in hepatic impairment:
U.S. labeling: No dosage adjustment provided in manufacturer’s labeling (has not been studied).
Mild-to-moderate impairment: No dosage adjustment provided in manufacturer’s labeling (has not been studied).
Severe impairment: Use is contraindicated.
Administer once daily with breakfast or first main meal of the day. Patients that are NPO or require decreased caloric intake may need doses held to avoid hypoglycemia.
Take with breakfast or the first main meal of the day. Individualized medical nutrition therapy (MNT) based on ADA recommendations is an integral part of therapy.
Store at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted between 20°C and 25°C (68°F and 77°F)
Alcohol (Ethyl): Sulfonylureas may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Alcohol (Ethyl). A flushing reaction may occur. Monitor therapy
Alpha-Lipoic Acid: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy
Androgens: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Blood Glucose Lowering Agents. Exceptions: Danazol. Monitor therapy
Antidiabetic Agents: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Hypoglycemia-Associated Agents. Monitor therapy
Antidiabetic Agents (Thiazolidinedione): May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Sulfonylureas. Management: Consider sulfonylurea dose adjustments in patients taking thiazolidinediones and monitor for hypoglycemia. Consider therapy modification
Beta-Blockers: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Sulfonylureas. Cardioselective beta-blockers (eg, acebutolol, atenolol, metoprolol, and penbutolol) may be safer than nonselective beta-blockers. All beta-blockers appear to mask tachycardia as an initial symptom of hypoglycemia. Ophthalmic beta-blockers are probably associated with lower risk than systemic agents. Exceptions: Levobunolol; Metipranolol. Monitor therapy
Carbocisteine: Sulfonylureas may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Carbocisteine. Specifically, sulfonylureas may enhance adverse effects of alcohol that is present in liquid formulations of carbocisteine-containing products. Monitor therapy
Ceritinib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2C9 Substrates. Management: Concurrent use of ceritinib with a CYP2C9 substrate that has a narrow therapeutic index (e.g., warfarin, phenytoin) should be avoided when possible. Monitor therapy
Chloramphenicol: May decrease the metabolism of Sulfonylureas. Monitor therapy
Cimetidine: May increase the serum concentration of Sulfonylureas. Monitor therapy
Colesevelam: May decrease the serum concentration of Glimepiride. Management: Administer glimepiride at least 4 hours prior to colesevelam. Consider therapy modification
Cyclic Antidepressants: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Sulfonylureas. Monitor therapy
CYP2C9 Inducers (Strong): May increase the metabolism of CYP2C9 Substrates. Management: Consider an alternative for one of the interacting drugs. Some combinations may be specifically contraindicated. Consult appropriate manufacturer labeling. Consider therapy modification
CYP2C9 Inhibitors (Moderate): May decrease the metabolism of CYP2C9 Substrates. Monitor therapy
CYP2C9 Inhibitors (Strong): May decrease the metabolism of CYP2C9 Substrates. Consider therapy modification
Dabrafenib: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP2C9 Substrates. Management: Seek alternatives to the CYP2C9 substrate when possible. If concomitant therapy cannot be avoided, monitor clinical effects of the substrate closely (particularly therapeutic effects). Consider therapy modification
Dexketoprofen: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Sulfonamides. Monitor therapy
DPP-IV Inhibitors: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Sulfonylureas. Management: Consider a decrease in sulfonylurea dose when initiating therapy with a dipeptidyl peptidase-IV inhibitor and monitor patients for hypoglycemia. Consider therapy modification
Enzalutamide: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP2C9 Substrates. Management: Concurrent use of enzalutamide with CYP2C9 substrates that have a narrow therapeutic index should be avoided. Use of enzalutamide and any other CYP2C9 substrate should be performed with caution and close monitoring. Consider therapy modification
Fibric Acid Derivatives: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Sulfonylureas. Monitor therapy
Fluconazole: May increase the serum concentration of Sulfonylureas. Management: Seek alternatives when possible. If used together, monitor closely for increased effects of sulfonylureas if fluconazole is initiated/dose increased, or decreased effects if fluconazole is discontinued/dose decreased. Consider therapy modification
GLP-1 Agonists: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Sulfonylureas. Management: Consider sulfonylurea dose reductions when used in combination with glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists. Avoid the use of lixisenatide in patients receiving both basal insulin and a sulfonylurea. Consider therapy modification
Herbs (Hypoglycemic Properties): May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Hypoglycemia-Associated Agents. Monitor therapy
Hyperglycemia-Associated Agents: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy
Hypoglycemia-Associated Agents: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of other Hypoglycemia-Associated Agents. Monitor therapy
Hypoglycemia-Associated Agents: Antidiabetic Agents may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Hypoglycemia-Associated Agents. Monitor therapy
Lumacaftor: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP2C9 Substrates. Lumacaftor may increase the serum concentration of CYP2C9 Substrates. Monitor therapy
MAO Inhibitors: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Blood Glucose Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Mecamylamine: Sulfonamides may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Mecamylamine. Avoid combination
Metreleptin: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Sulfonylureas. Management: Sulfonylurea dosage adjustments (including potentially large decreases) may be required to minimize the risk for hypoglycemia with concurrent use of metreleptin. Monitor closely. Consider therapy modification
Miconazole (Oral): May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Sulfonylureas. Miconazole (Oral) may increase the serum concentration of Sulfonylureas. Monitor therapy
Mifepristone: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2C9 Substrates. Management: Use CYP2C9 substrates at the lowest recommended dose, and monitor closely for adverse effects, during and in the 2 weeks following mifepristone treatment. Consider therapy modification
Pegvisomant: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Blood Glucose Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Porfimer: Photosensitizing Agents may enhance the photosensitizing effect of Porfimer. Monitor therapy
Probenecid: May decrease the protein binding of Sulfonylureas. Probenecid may increase the serum concentration of Sulfonylureas. Monitor therapy
Quinolone Antibiotics: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Blood Glucose Lowering Agents. Quinolone Antibiotics may diminish the therapeutic effect of Blood Glucose Lowering Agents. Specifically, if an agent is being used to treat diabetes, loss of blood sugar control may occur with quinolone use. Monitor therapy
Ranitidine: May increase the serum concentration of Sulfonylureas. Monitor therapy
Rifampin: May decrease the serum concentration of Sulfonylureas. Management: Seek alternatives to these combinations when possible. Monitor closely for diminished therapeutic effects of sulfonylureas if rifampin is initiated/dose increased, or enhanced effects if rifampin is discontinued/dose decreased. Consider therapy modification
Salicylates: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Blood Glucose Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Blood Glucose Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
SGLT2 Inhibitors: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Sulfonylureas. Management: Consider a decrease in sulfonylurea dose when initiating therapy with a sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor and monitor patients for hypoglycemia. Consider therapy modification
Sulfonamide Derivatives: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Sulfonylureas. Monitor therapy
Thiazide Diuretics: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy
Verteporfin: Photosensitizing Agents may enhance the photosensitizing effect of Verteporfin. Monitor therapy
Vitamin K Antagonists (eg, warfarin): Sulfonylureas may enhance the anticoagulant effect of Vitamin K Antagonists. Vitamin K Antagonists may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Sulfonylureas. Monitor therapy
Voriconazole: May increase the serum concentration of Sulfonylureas. Monitor therapy
>10%: Endocrine & metabolic: Hypoglycemia (4% to 20%)
1% to 10%:
Central nervous system: Dizziness (2%), headache
Gastrointestinal: Nausea (5%)
Hepatic: Increased serum ALT (2%)
Respiratory: Flu-like symptoms (5%)
Miscellaneous: Accidental injury (6%)
<1% (Limited to important or life-threatening): Abnormal hepatic function tests, accommodation disturbance (early treatment), agranulocytosis, anaphylaxis, angioedema, anorexia, aplastic anemia, cholestatic jaundice, disulfiram-like reaction, epigastric fullness, hemolytic anemia, hepatic failure, hepatic porphyria, hepatitis, hypersensitivity, hypersensitivity angiitis, hyponatremia, hypotension, leukopenia, maculopapular rash, morbilliform rash, pancytopenia, porphyria cutanea tarda, shock, SIADH, skin photosensitivity, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, thrombocytopenia, weight gain
Concerns related to adverse effects:
• Cardiovascular mortality: Product labeling states oral hypoglycemic drugs may be associated with an increased cardiovascular mortality as compared to treatment with diet alone or diet plus insulin. Data to support this association are limited, and several studies, including a large prospective trial (UKPDS) have not supported an association.
• Hypoglycemia: All sulfonylurea drugs are capable of producing severe hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is more likely to occur when caloric intake is deficient, after severe or prolonged exercise, when ethanol is ingested, or when more than one glucose-lowering drug is used. It is also more likely in elderly patients, malnourished patients and in patients with impaired renal or hepatic function; use with caution.
• Sulfonamide (“sulfa”) allergy: The FDA-approved product labeling for many medications containing a sulfonamide chemical group includes a broad contraindication in patients with a prior allergic reaction to sulfonamides. There is a potential for cross-reactivity between members of a specific class (eg, two antibiotic sulfonamides). However, concerns for cross-reactivity have previously extended to all compounds containing the sulfonamide structure (SO2NH2). An expanded understanding of allergic mechanisms indicates cross-reactivity between antibiotic sulfonamides and nonantibiotic sulfonamides may not occur or at the very least this potential is extremely low (Brackett 2004; Johnson 2005; Slatore 2004; Tornero 2004). In particular, mechanisms of cross-reaction due to antibody production (anaphylaxis) are unlikely to occur with nonantibiotic sulfonamides. T-cell-mediated (type IV) reactions (eg, maculopapular rash) are less well understood and it is not possible to completely exclude this potential based on current insights. In cases where prior reactions were severe (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/TEN), some clinicians choose to avoid exposure to these classes.
• Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency: Patients with G6PD deficiency may be at an increased risk of sulfonylurea-induced hemolytic anemia; however, cases have also been described in patients without G6PD deficiency during postmarketing surveillance. Use with caution and consider a nonsulfonylurea alternative in patients with G6PD deficiency.
• Hepatic function impairment: Use with caution; patients with hepatic impairment are more likely to develop hypoglycemia.
• Renal function impairment: Use with caution and reduce dosage; patients with renal impairment are more likely to develop hypoglycemia.
• Stress-related states: It may be necessary to discontinue therapy and administer insulin if the patient is exposed to stress (fever, trauma, infection, surgery) (ADA, 2013).
• CYP2C9 genotype: Systemic exposure of glimepiride is increased in patients with CYP2C9*3 allele; dose reductions may be necessary (Niemi, 2002).
• Elderly: Use with caution; elderly patients are more likely to develop hypoglycemia.
• Secondary failure: Loss of efficacy may be observed following prolonged use as a result of the progression of type 2 diabetes mellitus which results in continued beta cell destruction. In patients who were previously responding to sulfonylurea therapy, consider additional factors which may be contributing to decreased efficacy (eg, inappropriate dose, nonadherence to diet and exercise regimen). If no contributing factors can be identified, consider discontinuing use of the sulfonylurea due to secondary failure of treatment. Additional antidiabetic therapy (eg, insulin) will be required.
Monitor for signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia (fatigue, excessive hunger, profuse sweating, numbness of extremities), fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c
Pregnancy Risk Factor
Adverse events have been observed in some animal reproduction studies. Severe hypoglycemia lasting 4 to 10 days has been noted in infants born to mothers taking a sulfonylurea at the time of delivery.
In women with diabetes, maternal hyperglycemia can be associated with congenital malformations as well as adverse effects in the fetus, neonate, and the mother (ACOG 2005; ADA 2015; Kitzmiller 2008; Metzger 2007). To prevent adverse outcomes, prior to conception and throughout pregnancy maternal blood glucose and HbA1c should be kept as close to target goals as possible but without causing significant hypoglycemia (ACOG 2013; ADA 2015; Blumer 2013; Kitzmiller 2008). Prior to pregnancy, effective contraception should be used until glycemic control is achieved (Kitzmiller 2008). Other agents are currently recommended to treat diabetes in pregnant women (ACOG 2013; Blumer 2013).
• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)
• Patient may experience dyspepsia. Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of hepatic impairment, arrhythmia, severe dizziness, syncope, vision changes, ecchymosis, hemorrhaging, angina, signs of hypoglycemia, or signs of Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (HCAHPS).
• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.
Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for healthcare professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience and judgment in diagnosing, treating and advising patients.
More about glimepiride
- Other brands: Amaryl