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Glimepiride and pioglitazone

Generic Name: glimepiride and pioglitazone (glye MEP ir ide and PYE oh GLI ta zone)
Brand Name: Duetact

Medically reviewed on May 9, 2018

What is glimepiride and pioglitazone?

Glimepiride and pioglitazone is a combination of two oral diabetes medicines that help control blood sugar levels.

Glimepiride and pioglitazone is a combination medicine used together with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. glimepiride and pioglitazone is not for treating type 1 diabetes.

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

Important Information

You should not use this medicine if you have severe or uncontrolled heart failure, active bladder cancer, or diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment).

This medicine can cause or worsen congestive heart failure. Call your doctor at once if you have shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, or rapid weight gain.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use glimepiride and pioglitazone if you are allergic to glimepiride, pioglitazone, or sulfa drugs, or if you have:

  • severe or advanced heart failure;

  • active bladder cancer; or

  • diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment).

Pioglitazone may increase your risk of serious heart problems. However, not treating your diabetes can damage your heart and other organs. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking glimepiride and pioglitazone.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • congestive heart failure or heart disease;

  • fluid retention;

  • bladder cancer;

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease;

  • a genetic enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency;

  • eye problems caused by diabetes; or

  • a heart attack or stroke.

This medication may increase your risk of developing bladder cancer. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

Follow your doctor's instructions about using this medicine if you are pregnant. Blood sugar control is very important during pregnancy, and your dose needs may be different during each trimester of pregnancy.

Women may be more likely to have a broken bone while taking glimepiride and pioglitazone. Talk with your doctor about ways to keep your bones healthy.

Pioglitazone may cause you to ovulate and get pregnant, even if you are premenopausal or do not have regular periods. Talk with your doctor about the need for birth control.

It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How should I take glimepiride and pioglitazone?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Take glimepiride and pioglitazone with your first meal of the day.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can happen to everyone who has diabetes. Symptoms include headache, hunger, sweating, irritability, dizziness, nausea, and feeling shaky. To quickly treat low blood sugar, always keep a fast-acting source of sugar with you such as fruit juice, hard candy, crackers, raisins, or non-diet soda.

Your doctor can prescribe a glucagon emergency injection kit to use in case you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink. Be sure your family and close friends know how to give you this injection in an emergency.

Also watch for signs of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) such as increased thirst or urination, blurred vision, headache, and tiredness.

Blood sugar levels can be affected by stress, illness, surgery, exercise, alcohol use, or skipping meals. Ask your doctor before changing your dose or medication schedule.

Glimepiride and pioglitazone is only part of a treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, blood sugar testing, vision exams, and special medical care. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Skip the missed dose and use your next dose at the regular time. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. A glimepiride and pioglitazone overdose can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia. Symptoms of severe hypoglycemia include extreme weakness, nausea, tremors, sweating, confusion, trouble speaking, fast heartbeats, or seizure.

What should I avoid while taking glimepiride and pioglitazone?

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

glimepiride and pioglitazone could make you sunburn more easily. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Glimepiride and pioglitazone side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • pink or red urine, painful or difficult urination, new or worsening urge to urinate;

  • changes in your vision;

  • sudden unusual pain in your hand, arm, or foot;

  • liver problems--upper stomach pain, vomiting, tiredness, loss of appetite, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • symptoms of heart failure--shortness of breath (even while lying down), swelling in your legs or feet, rapid weight gain.

Common side effects may include:

  • headache;

  • muscle pain;

  • nausea, diarrhea; or

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sinus pain, sneezing, sore throat.

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 and pioglitazone dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Diabetes Type 2:

Individualize dose based on safety, efficacy, and prior therapy

Initial dose: pioglitazone 30 mg-glimepiride 2 mg or pioglitazone 30 mg-glimepiride 4 mg orally once a day

-For patients inadequately controlled on glimepiride monotherapy: pioglitazone 30 mg-glimepiride 2 mg or pioglitazone 30 mg-glimepiride 4 mg orally once a day
-For patients inadequately controlled on pioglitazone monotherapy: pioglitazone 30 mg-glimepiride 2 mg orally once a day
-For patients receiving pioglitazone and glimepiride as individual components: Initiate with the combination product containing doses that are as close as possible to the dose of each component
-For patients currently on a different sulfonylurea monotherapy or switching from combination therapy of pioglitazone plus a different sulfonylurea: pioglitazone 30 mg-glimepiride 2 mg orally once a day
-For patients with systolic dysfunction, initiate with pioglitazone monotherapy and only initiate combination therapy after titration from pioglitazone 15 mg to 30 mg has been safely tolerated.
Maintenance Dose: Gradually titrate dose based on adequacy of therapeutic response and tolerability for each component

Comments:
-Take with first meal of the day.
-For patients switching from a different sulfonylurea, carefully monitor for hypoglycemia for 1 to 2 weeks due to a potential overlapping drug effect.
-If hypoglycemia occurs in a patient coadministered an insulin secretagogue, the dose of the insulin secretagogue should be reduced.
-If hypoglycemia occurs in a patient's coadministered insulin, the insulin dose should be decreased by 10% to 25% with further adjustments based on glycemic response.

Use: As an adjunct to diet and exercise, to improve glycemic control in adult patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who are already treated with a thiazolidinedione and sulfonylurea or who have inadequate glycemic control in a thiazolidinedione alone or a sulfonylurea alone.

What other drugs will affect glimepiride and pioglitazone?

Tell your doctor if you use insulin. Taking glimepiride and pioglitazone while you are using insulin may increase your risk of serious heart problems.

Glimepiride and pioglitazone may not work as well when you use other medicines at the same time. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all medicines you start or stop using.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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