What is Amaryl (Glimepiride)?
Amaryl an oral medicine that helps control blood sugar levels in type-2 diabetic patients. Type 2 diabetes is considered non-insulin-dependent diabetes.
Amaryl is used together with diet and exercise to treat type 2 diabetes. Insulin or other diabetes medicines are sometimes used in combination with Amaryl medicine if needed.
Below are a number of key points you should consider before taking Amaryl. As with all prescription drugs, consult a medical professional prior to starting to take Amaryl.
Tell your doctor if you are allergic to sulfa drugs, or if you have heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, an enzyme deficiency (G6PD), adrenal or pituitary gland problems, or if you are under-nourished prior to taking Amaryl.
The active ingredient in Amaryl is pioglitazone. If you have a known allergy to pioglitazone, you should not use Amaryl.
If you have severe heart failure or are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis you should not take Amaryl.
Regardless of any medicinal regiment involving Amaryl, you should always take care not to let your blood sugar get too low. Low blood sugar, otherwise known as hypoglycemia, can occur if you skip a meal, exercise too long, drink alcohol, or are under stress. Symptoms of hypoglycemia can include headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, irritability, or trouble concentrating. It is often recommended that diabetics carry hard candy or glucose tablets in case of low blood sugar. Other sugar sources include orange juice and milk.
Amaryl has been shown to cause some women to start having menstrual activity after starting an Amaryl regimen even if not having had such activity for a long time (due to medical conditions). This may require birth control as pregnancy can occur when menstrual activity resumes. It is recommended that you speak with your doctor about the need for birth control.
Women may also be more likely than men to have bone fractures in the upper arm, hand, or foot while taking Amaryl. Talk with your doctor if you are concerned about this possibility.
Certain oral diabetes medications, like Amaryl, may increase your risk of serious heart problems. Unfortunately, not treating your diabetes properly can damage the heart as well as other organs. Your doctor will have more information on the risks and benefits of Actors and other oral diabetes medicines.
What should I know before taking Amaryl?
Below are guidelines you should follow when taking Amaryl:
You should not use Amaryl if you are allergic to glimepiride or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis, which needs to be treated with insulin.
Take Amaryl exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
Amaryl is usually taken once a day with breakfast or the first main meal of the day.
Your dose needs may change if you are ill, if you have a fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency.
Diabetes is a condition that needs to be properly managed. One such method is through blood sugar analysis. This can be checked frequently using many of the over-the-counter blood-sugar analysis devices. But you may need other blood tests as well. Visit your doctor regularly while on Amaryl as part of your diabetes management activities.
Know the signs of low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia, and how to recognize them: headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremor, irritability, or trouble concentrating.
Always keep a source of sugar available in case you have symptoms of hypoglycemia. These sugar sources can include hard candy, glucose gel, milk, and orange juice. In the event that you do not catch the signs of hypoglycemia and get to a point where you cannot eat or drink, you can use an injection of glucagon, a highly concentrated form of glucose designed to rapidly increase your blood sugar. Your doctor can give you a prescription for a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to give the injection.
There are many things that can impact your blood sugar levels including stress, illness, travel, exercise, alcohol, and skipping meals. You should check your blood sugar regularly.
Ask your doctor how to adjust your Amaryl dose if needed. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor’s advice.
Don’t wait until your Amaryl prescription runs out to refill. In order to get the most benefit from Amaryl, use it regularly. Filling your prescription before it runs out will ensure you don’t miss a dose.
Amaryl is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, foot care, eye care, dental care, and testing your blood sugar. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. Changing any of these factors can affect your blood sugar levels.
Store Amaryl at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
The active ingredient in Amaryl is glimepiride.
How it Works
As part of a group of diabetes medications called sulfonylureas, Amaryl helps the pancreas to produce more insulin as well as helping the body’s cells respond better to insulin. In combination, these two effects result in a decrease in blood sugar levels.
Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin);
a beta-blocker such as atenolol (Tenormin), carvedilol (Coreg), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), sotalol (Betapace), and others.
In addition, there are other drugs designed that when taken in conjunction with Amaryl, may lead you to more likely suffer from hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. These include:
a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin and others);
a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI);
aspirin or other salicylates (including Pepto-Bismol);fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem);
an antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), ofloxacin (Floxin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), and others;
somenonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs);
sulfa drugs (Bactrim, Gantanol, Septra, and others); or
other oral diabetes medications, especially acarbose (Precose), metformin (Glucophage), miglitol (Glyset), pioglitazone (Actos), or rosiglitazone (Avandia).
thyroid medicine (Synthroid and others);
birth control pills and other hormones;
diuretics (water pills);
steroids (prednisone and others);
niacin (Advicor, Niaspan, Niacor, Niaspan, Simcor, Slo-Niacin, and others);
phenothiazines (Compazine and others);
seizure medicines (Dilantin and others);
diet pills; and
medicines to treat asthma, colds or allergies.
Of course, this list is not comprehensive and you should alert your doctor of any other medications that you are taking including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, and herbal products. It is also recommended that you not start taking any new medications without first discussing with your doctor.
Side effects of Amaryl (Glimepiride)
- mild nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea;
- dizziness, headache, tired feeling;
- increased skin sensitivity to sunlight; or
- mild itching or skin rash.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Amaryl cure my diabetes?
No. There is no cure for diabetes. Amaryl is simply one part of a diabetes-management strategy to help diabetics better cope with this illness.
What’s in Amaryl?
The active ingredient in Amaryl is glimepiride.
How does Amaryl work?
Amaryl works by helping the pancreas produce more insulin as well as helping the body’s cells respond better to insulin. Together, these effects help lower the body’s blood sugar.
Are there any drugs I can’t take in combination with Amaryl?
You should discuss any drugs you are currently taking with your doctor before beginning a treatment with Amaryl but there are a host of drugs that can potentially increase your chances of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.
Can Amaryl cause an allergic reactions? If so, what are the signs?
You should seek immediate, emergency medical help if you experience any of the following allergic reactions including hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
What happens if I miss a dose of Amaryl?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up any missed doses.