Glimepiride is the Generic Name for Amaryl
Glimepiride is the generic name for Amaryl. Amaryl is a diabetic medicine approved by the FDA in 1995. It belongs to the class of drugs called sulfonylurea. It is used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. The tablets are available in 1mg, 2mg and 4mg.
Only a doctor can prescribe Amaryl. The usual dosage is 1mg to 8mg daily. The doctor usually starts the patient on 1mg dose daily and increases according to the patient’s response to the drug. This response is monitored by the control of the blood glucose which is also known as glycemic control. The doctor usually allows patient to be on Amaryl for about 1 to 2 weeks before making dosage adjustment, except in instances of critical adverse response by the patient.
Finger stick blood sugar is monitored closely during the introduction phase of Amaryl. The dosage should be reduced for patients with liver and/or kidney problems and elderly patients.
How Amaryl works
Glimepiride belongs to the group of diabetes medications called sulfonylureas, used to treat type 2 diabetes. Amaryl and other sulfonylureas work by causing the pancreas to release more insulin to meet the increased need for insulin in type 2 diabetics.
How to Use Amaryl
- Amaryl is usually taken by mouth.
- Amaryl should be used in combination with exercise and diet control. Amaryl is only to be used by type 2 diabetics. It works by making more insulin from the pancreas available in the blood.
- Take with the first meal of the day.
- Be familiar with the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
- In event of hypoglycemia, eat foods that provide quick release of glucose to the blood, like glucose tablets orange juice, skim milk or regular sugar. Monitor finger stick blood sugar closely. In the event of severe hypoglycemia, the patient should be taken to the hospital emergency room. Always report all episodes of hypoglycemia to your doctor.
Adverse Reactions of Glimepiride
- Hypoglycemia or low blood glucose can occur because of excess insulin release by the pancreas, caused by glimepiride. Hypoglycemia can be made worse by the concurrent use of other medications that lower blood sugar, not eating enough, taking alcohol or excessive exercise.
- Allergic reactions include anaphylaxis, angioedema and Steven Johnson’s syndrome. Amaryl should be stopped immediately if allergic reaction is noted.
- Hemolytic anemia can occur especially in people with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency; it may be a good idea to avoid the use of any sulfonylurea in this population.
- Trouble breathing
- In some people, it can have adverse effects to the heart.
- Use with caution and reduce dose as needed in elderly patients and those with kidney and/or liver problems in order to avoid hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
- Do not use Amaryl to manage diabetic ketoacidosis or diabetic non-ketotic coma. IV rapid-acting or short-acting insulin should be used for those in a hospital setting.
- Do not use to manage type 1 diabetes mellitus because there is no insulin available in the pancreas to be released.
- Do not take Amaryl while fasting.
- Do not take this diabetic medicine if you are allergic to Amaryl or any derivatives of sulfonamides
- Do not use this diabetes drug for gestational diabetes unless the doctor decides otherwise.
Amaryl Drug Interactions
Oral miconazole increases the blood glucose lowering effects of this diabetes medication and could result in severe hypoglycemia. Patients on Amaryl who have to take miconazole should have their doses reduced and blood sugar closely monitored.
Who Should Not Take Amaryl
- Those who are allergic to Amaryl or any other ingredients of the drug.
- Those who are allergic to any derivatives of sulfonamides.
- Patients with type 1 diabetes
- Patients in diabetic ketoacidosis or diabetic non-ketotic coma
Special Considerations in the Use of Amaryl
Do not use Amaryl in pregnant women because of potential risk to the fetus.
Do not use in women who are breastfeeding because of the risk to the baby. If the nursing mother must necessarily be on Amaryl, then she needs to discontinue breastfeeding.
This diabetic medicine should not be used on pediatric patients. This is because of risk for hypoglycemia which could be very adverse for the oxygen needs of the developing brain. The weight gain from use of Glimepiride may also affect the pediatric patient’s self-image.
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