glimepiride, Amaryl (cont.)

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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

PREGNANCY: In animal studies, glimepiride and other sulfonylureas were associated with a higher risk of fetal death. However, there have been no good studies in women. Abnormal blood sugar concentrations (high or low) during pregnancy increase the risk of abnormalities in the fetus. Therefore, physicians must carefully weigh the benefits and risks of sulfonylurea treatment during pregnancy. Insulin is the drug of choice for treating diabetes in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known if glimepiride is excreted in breast milk like other sulfonylureas. Because of the risk of low blood sugar in the infant, it is recommended that glimepiride be discontinued in nursing mothers. If therapy other than diet and exercise is needed, insulin is preferred.

SIDE EFFECTS: Common side effects of glimepiride include dizziness, headache, and nausea or vomiting. A rash and allergic reactions also may occur.

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

  • hunger,
  • nausea,
  • tiredness,
  • perspiration,
  • headache,
  • heart palpitations,
  • numbness around the mouth,
  • tingling in the fingers,
  • tremors,
  • muscle weakness,
  • blurred vision,
  • chilliness,
  • excessive yawning,
  • irritability,
  • 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.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/17/2014

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