GENERIC NAME: glimepiride
BRAND NAME: Amaryl
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Glimepiride is an oral blood sugar-lowering drug in a class of medicines for controlling diabetes called sulfonylureas. Glimepiride is related to other sulfonylureas including glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase), glipizide (Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL), tolbutamide, and tolazamide. Glimepiride is used in type 2 diabetes, the most common type of diabetes that is found in 90% of people with diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, insulin usually is not necessary to control the blood sugar. Instead, diet and oral medications often are sufficient. Intolerance to sugar that results in elevated blood sugar is caused by reduced insulin secretion by the pancreas and resistance to insulin's effects on the body's cells. Glimepiride lowers the sugar level in the blood by stimulating insulin to be secreted from the pancreas into the blood. Insulin causes sugar to leave the blood and enter cells throughout the body. Glimepiride was approved by the FDA in December 1995.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Glimepiride is used for controlling blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes in addition to diet and exercise. Management of blood sugar with glimepiride can help decrease the risk of eye, kidney, and nerve damage.
SIDE EFFECTS: Common side effects of glimepiride include
- heart palpitations,
- numbness around the mouth,
- tingling in the fingers,
- muscle weakness,
- blurred vision,
- excessive yawning,
- confusion, or
- loss of consciousness.
Flu-like symptoms have also been reported with glimepiride therapy.
Glimepiride is a derivative of a sulfonamide drug. People allergic to other sulfonamide-related drugs may develop an allergic reaction to glimepiride. Anyone who has an allergic reaction to sulfa drugs should not take glimepiride.
Fluid retention, which may worsen or lead to heart failure, may occur in people using glimepiride.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 1, 2, and 4 mg
STORAGE: Tablets should be stored at room temperature, between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).
DOSING: Like other medicines used to treat diabetes, the dose of glimepiride is individualized using periodic measurements of blood sugar to determine the best dose. The usual starting dose is 1 or 2 mg given orally once daily with breakfast or the first major meal of the day. The dose may be increased by 1-2 mg in 1-2 weeks interval up to 8mg maximum based on blood sugar response and given once daily.
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