GENERIC NAME: Glimepiride

COMMON BRAND: Amaryl

Glimepiride is a long-acting oral anti-diabetic prescription medicine, belongs to a class of drugs known as sulfonylureas. This drug is used only in patients with type II diabetes. It can be used along with Insulin or other medicines to better control over the blood sugar levels. Glimepiride acts by stimulating the pancreas to produce insulin and helps the body use insulin more efficiently.

It is available as a generic drug and as a brand-name drug. Generic drugs cost less.

What is Glimepiride used for?

Glimepiride is used along with a proper diet, exercise program and sometimes with other medications, to control high blood sugar level in people with type 2 diabetes. This medication helps to lower blood sugar in people who produce insulin naturally. This drug is not recommended to use in treatment for type 1 diabetes (condition in which the body does not produce insulin).

The drug may also be used to lessen the risk of life-threatening complications such as kidney damage, nerve problems, blindness, loss of limbs, and sexual function issues develop in type 2 diabetic patients.

How to use Glimepiride?

Glimepiride comes as a tablet to take it orally. It is taken once a day with breakfast or the first main meal of the day, as directed by your doctor. Follow all the instruction on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. The dose of the drug is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

Take this drug exactly as prescribed at around the same time every day, do not take more frequently or less of it or take it more than prescribed by your doctor.

Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully, to lessen the risk of side effects; your doctor may direct you to start on a low dose of glimepiride and gradually increase your dose if needed. Make sure to inform your doctor about your blood sugar level results whether if it is higher or lower than normal during your treatment.

This drug helps to control blood sugar levels but does not cure diabetes. Regularly take glimepiride even if you feel better. Do not stop taking this drug without informing your doctor.

What are the side effects of Glimepiride?

The most common side effects observed with this drug such as low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, unexplained weight gain. If any of these side effects remains or worsens, inform to your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Seek emergency medical assistance promptly, if you notice any of these severe side effects like stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, unusual tiredness/weakness, easy bleeding/bruising, signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), unusual/sudden weight gain, mental/mood changes, seizures.

Hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions to this drug are infrequent, but it may cause severe allergic reactions, like anaphylaxis (symptoms like trouble breathing, swelling of your throat or tongue, hives, or difficulty swallowing), angioedema(symptoms like swelling of your skin, the layers under your skin, and your mucous membranes.

This drug sometimes causes hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) symptoms like thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, flushing, rapid breathing, and fruity breath odour. If any of these symptoms occur, inform to your doctor right away. Your dose of the drug may need to be increased.

This is not a full record of all possible side effects. If you notice any other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

What are the precautions while using Glimepiride?

Tell your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, mainly liver disease, thyroid disease, kidney disease, certain hormonal conditions (adrenal/pituitary insufficiency, syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone), hyponatremia (electrolyte imbalance).

Consult your doctor, if you have a certain complication like fever, infection, injury, or surgery as it may require to change in your treatment plan or medications, to control your blood sugar level.

You may observe drowsiness or dizziness, blurred vision due to extremely low or high blood sugar level. Avoid using machinery, driving, or do any other activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you can do safely.

Restrict the use of alcohol with this drug as it increases your risk of low blood sugar. Older adults are more prone to the side effects of this drug, mainly low blood sugar.

This drug can cause hemolytic anaemia in patients with glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, use caution in patients with G6PD deficiency and consider the use of a non-sulfonylurea alternative.

Pregnancy may induce or worsen diabetes. Discuss with your doctor for managing your high blood sugar level in pregnancy. Your doctor may change your diabetic treatment during your pregnancy (like diet and medications including insulin). In pregnancy, this medication should be used only when the benefits outweigh the risk.

Breastfeeding while using this medication is not recommended as it is not clear whether this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

What are the drug interactions of Glimepiride?

Many drugs may affect your blood sugar levels, making it difficult to control. Before you start using this drug tell your doctor about all the products you are using including prescription and over-the-counter medications. Regularly monitor your blood sugar levels and share the results with your doctor. Inform your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high or low blood sugar as it may require to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.

Beta-blocker drugs (like propranolol, metoprolol, glaucoma eye drops such as timolol) may prevent the fast/pounding heartbeat you would generally feel when your blood sugar falls too low (hypoglycemia). Other symptoms of low blood sugar like hunger, dizziness, or sweating are unaffected by these drugs.

Read all the labels carefully on your medicines (like cough-and-cold products) as they may contain ingredients that could affect your blood sugar levels. Seek advice from your pharmacist about using those products safely.

What are the forms and strengths of Glimepiride?

Generic: Glimepiride
Form: Tablet
Strengths: 1mg, 2mg, 4mg, 6mg, and 8mg

Brand: Amaryl
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 1mg, 2mg, and 4mg

What is the dosage of Glimepiride?

For Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus:

Adult (18 to 64 years):

Initial dose: 1 to 2mg orally once a day
Maintenance dose: Increase dose by 1-2mg every 1-2 weeks based on your glycemic response.
Maximum dose: Not to exceed 8mg per day.

Dosing considerations:

Use in monotherapy or, if the glycemic response to glimepiride is inadequate at maximum dose, with insulin or metformin.

Dosing modifications:

Renal impairment: Start with 1mg orally once a day and if the required increase dose based on fasting blood glucose levels.
Hepatic impairment: Start with 1mg orally once a day and if the required increase dose carefully. It is not recommended to use in severe hepatic impairment.

Note:

The patients who are at high risk for hypoglycemia(low blood sugar level), start with 1mg orally once a day and increase slowly.
Observe patients for 1-2 weeks when being transferred from long half-life sulfonylureas to glimepiride, as of potential for overlapping of hypoglycemic effects.

Pediatric:

Children (0 to 17 years):

The use of this drug in children is not recommended as safety and efficacy of this drug is not established.

Geriatric (65 years and above):

Start with 1mg orally once a day and if the required increase dos at weekly intervals to avoid hypoglycemia.

Note:

Prolonged hypoglycemia reported with use of this drug, increase dose slowly; monitor closely for hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic symptoms.

Most common questions asked about Glimepiride / Q&A’s:

Is Glimepiride the same as metformin?

Glimepiride and Metformin both are used for the treatment of type-2 diabetes. However, the significant difference is in their structures, and glimepiride is a long-acting oral anti-diabetic prescription drug, belongs to a class known as sulfonylureas, whereas metformin is a prescription medicine belongs to a class known as biguanides. Glimepiride is usually prescribed once a day.

What does Glimepiride do to your body?

Like all sulfonylureas, glimepiride also works as an insulin secretagogue (stimulates insulin secretion). It reduces blood sugar level by stimulating the release of insulin by pancreatic beta cells and by inducing increased activity of intracellular insulin receptors. Glimepiride is used with diet and exercise and sometimes with other medications in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

What are the side effects of taking Glimepiride?

The most common side effects that can occur with glimepiride are hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, unexplained weight gain.

What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia?

Some of the symptoms of hypoglycemia are trembling or shaking, nervousness or anxiety, irritability, sweating, lightheadedness or dizziness, headache, increase in heart rate or palpitations, intense hunger, fatigue or tiredness.

How do you take Glimepiride?

Glimepiride is taken exactly as your doctor has recommended. It is usually prescribed once a day and is taken shortly before, or with your first meal of the day (usually breakfast).

Can I drink alcohol while taking Glimepiride?

Taking alcohol while using glimepiride can worsen the side effects and may lead to symptoms such as flushing, headache, blurred vision, chest in pain, nausea, vomiting, weakness, confusion, sweating, choking, difficulty breathing and anxiety.

Does Glimepiride cause weight gain?

Yes, glimepiride is known to cause weight gain in some patients. If your blood sugar level is under good control, you should not stop or change your medications without discussing your condition with your doctor.

Is Glimepiride long acting?

Yes, glimepiride is a long-acting oral anti-diabetic prescription medicine, belongs to a class of drugs known as sulfonylureas. It is also classified as the first third-generation sulfonylurea or as a second-generation sulfonylurea.

How long does Glimepiride work in the body?

Glimepiride is a long-acting oral anti-diabetic drug, and this means there is no sudden peak of the concentration of this drug in the blood, and it will maintain the blood glucose level even for 24 hours.

How does Glimepiride work in the body?

Glimepiride works as an insulin secretagogue (stimulates insulin secretion). It lowers blood sugar level in the body by stimulating the release of insulin by pancreatic beta cells and causes increased activity of intracellular insulin receptors. Glimepiride is used along with proper diet and exercise and sometimes in combination with other medications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

What does Glimepiride do for diabetes?

Glimepiride is prescribed with a proper diet and exercise to control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It is also prescribed along with other diabetes medications. Controlling high blood sugar level helps prevent kidney damage, nerve problems, blindness, loss of limbs after infection, and sexual function problems.

Are Glipizide and Glimepiride the same?

Glipizide/Glimepiride/Glyburide (Sulfonylureas) works by the similar mechanism of action by stimulating the pancreas to release insulin. Sometimes, the pancreas releases more insulin than needed. However, glimepiride appears to reduce blood glucose more rapidly than glipizide over the first few weeks of treatment.

Is Glyburide and Glimepiride the same?

Glipizide/Glimepiride/Glyburide (Sulfonylureas) works by the similar mechanism of action by stimulating the pancreas to release insulin. Sometimes, the pancreas releases more insulin than needed. The increased insulin production by pancreas tends to act as a more powerful courier to “muscle” glucose into the cells, achieving lower blood sugar levels.

Is Glimepiride safe for kidneys?

Sulfonylureas like Glipizide/Glimepiride/Glyburide are removed from your body by the kidneys. If have any kidney problems, your doctor may prescribe you some other diabetes drug as glimepiride may build up in your body and can cause low blood sugar.

Disclaimer

TheMedPharma has made every effort to make sure that all the information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this website should not be considered as a substitute for the advice, knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or licensed health care professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subjected to changes if required. The lack of warnings or other information for a given drug does not mean that the drug or its combination is safe, effective or appropriate for use in all patients.