glimepiride, Amaryl

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Type 2 Diabetes Warning Signs

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

A rash and allergic reactions also may occur.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can occur during glimepiride therapy. Symptoms of low blood sugar include:

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

PRESCRIPTION: 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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/4/2015

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