Generic Name: glimepiride (glye MEP ir ide)
Brand Name: Amaryl
Medically reviewed on December 4, 2017.
What is glimepiride?
Glimepiride is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels.
Glimepiride may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Before taking this medicine
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:
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.
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.
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 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:
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: Increase in 1 or 2 mg increments no more frequently than every 1 to 2 weeks based on glycemic response
Maximum dose: 8 mg per day
-Administer with breakfast or first main meal of the day.
-In patients who are at increased risk for hypoglycemia, start with 1 mg orally once a day and titrate slowly.
-When patients are being transferred to this drug from a longer half-life sulfonylurea, monitor 1 to 2 weeks for overlapping drug effect.
Use: As an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Usual Geriatric Dose for Diabetes Type 2:
Initial dose: 1 mg orally once a day; titrate slowly and monitor closely
Usual Pediatric Dose for Diabetes Type 2:
Not recommended because of adverse effects on body weight and hypoglycemia.
What other drugs will affect glimepiride?
You may be more likely to have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if you take glimepiride with other drugs that can lower blood sugar, such as:
sulfa drugs (Bactrim, SMZ-TMP, and others);
a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI); or
insulin or other oral diabetes medications.
This list is not complete, and many other medicines can increase or decrease the effects of glimepiride on lowering your blood sugar. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with glimepiride. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
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.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 10.03.
More about glimepiride
- Side Effects
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- Drug class: sulfonylureas
Other brands: Amaryl