Glimepiride is an oral antidiabetic medicine that helps control blood sugar levels. This drug is used as an adjunct to diet and exercise to treat type 2 non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Other medicines for diabetes are sometimes used in combination with glimepiride if needed. This medication helps your body respond better to insulin produced by your pancreas. Glimepiride is only a part of a complete program of treatment which includes diet, exercise and weight control.
Special precautions: Avoid skipping a meal, exercising too long, drinking alcohol or under too much stress because your blood sugar may get too low (hypoglycemia). Always keep a source of sugar readily available in case you have symptoms of hypoglycemia. Sugar sources include orange juice, glucose gel, candy or milk. Severe hypoglycemia may cause loss of consciousness, seizure, coma or death. Inform your doctor before taking this drug if you have any of the following medical conditions: heart disease; adrenal or pituitary gland problems; under-nourished and liver disease. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant tell your doctor. Glimepiride may be harmful to an unborn baby (FDA pregnancy category C). It is not known whether glimepiride passes into breast milk or if it could be harmful to a nursing baby. It is advisable not to take glimepiride without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Avoid alcohol while taking this medication, it may further lower the blood sugar. If you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) , a complication characterized by hyperglycemia with symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination), polyphagia (excessive hunger) and polydipsia (excessive thirst) particularly in type I diabetes mellitus (insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus - IDDM), you need to see your doctor for proper management immediately. If you also have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, an injection of glucagon may be prescribed by your doctor .
Overdose symptoms: hunger, nausea, anxiety , cold sweats, weakness, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and coma in severe hypoglycemia. Seek emergency medical attention if you experience any of the above symptoms. 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.
Serious side effects: signs of congestive heart failure (swelling or rapid weight gain, shortness of breath, chest pains); skin rash, itching, redness or irritation; easy bruising or bleeding, nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowish discoloration of the skin or eyes).
Less serious side effects: dizziness or weakness; headache, blurred vision; mild nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain; increased sensitivity to sunlight; or dark urine.
Drug interactions: Drugs that can raise blood sugar such as isoniazid (INH); diuretics; steroids; phenothiazines; thyroid medicine; birth control pills and other hormones; anticonvulsants; diet pills; bronchodilators; antihistamines and drugs for colds.
Other contraindicated drugs are those that can further lower blood sugar which include: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); aspirin or other salicylates; sulfa drugs; monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI); beta-blockers (Tenormin and others); probenecid (Benemid) or a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin and others). Inform your doctor about all other prescription and over-the-counter medications that you are taking to avoid serious drug interactions.
AMARYL (glimepiride tablets) is an oral blood-glucose-lowering drug of the sulfonylurea class. Glimepiride is a white to yellowish-white, crystalline, odorless to practically odorless powder formulated into tablets of 1-mg, 2-mg, and 4-mg strengths for oral administration. AMARYL tablets contain the active ingredient glimepiride and the following inactive ingredients: lactose (hydrous), sodium starch glycolate, povidone, microcrystalline cellulose, and magnesium stearate. In addition, AMARYL 1-mg tablets contain Ferric Oxide Red, AMARYL 2-mg tablets contain Ferric Oxide Yellow and FD&C Blue #2 Aluminum Lake, and AMARYL 4-mg tablets contain FD&C Blue #2 Aluminum Lake.
Glimepiride has the following structural formula: