Glimepiride is used with a proper diet and exercise program to control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It may also be used with other diabetes medications. Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Glimepiride belongs to the class of drugs known as sulfonylureas. It lowers blood sugar by causing the release of your body's natural insulin.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking glimepiride and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with breakfast or the first main meal of the day, as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
If you are already taking another anti-diabetic drug (such as chlorpropamide), follow your doctor's directions carefully for stopping the old drug and starting glimepiride.
Colesevelam can decrease the absorption of glimepiride. If you are taking colesevelam, take glimepiride at least 4 hours before taking colesevelam.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (your blood sugar levels are too high or too low).
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: yellowing eyes/skin, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, unusual tiredness/weakness, easy bleeding/bruising, signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), mental/mood changes, unusual/sudden weight gain, seizures.
This medication can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). This may occur if you do not consume enough calories from food or if you do unusually heavy exercise. Symptoms of low blood sugar include sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands/feet. It is a good habit to carry glucose tablets or gel to treat low blood sugar. If you don't have these reliable forms of glucose, rapidly raise your blood sugar by eating a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, or candy, or drink fruit juice or non-diet soda. Tell your doctor right away about the reaction and the use of this product. To help prevent low blood sugar, eat meals on a regular schedule, and do not skip meals. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out what you should do if you miss a meal.
Symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) include thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, flushing, rapid breathing, and fruity breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away. Your medication dosage may need to be increased.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking glimepiride, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, thyroid disease, certain hormonal conditions (adrenal/pituitary insufficiency, syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone-SIADH), electrolyte imbalance (hyponatremia).
You may experience blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness due to extremely low or high blood sugar levels. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
Limit alcohol while taking this medication because it can increase your risk of developing low blood sugar.
It may be harder to control your blood sugar when your body is stressed (such as due to fever, infection, injury, or surgery). Consult your doctor because this may require a change in your treatment plan, medications, or blood sugar testing.
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially low blood sugar.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Pregnancy may cause or worsen diabetes. Discuss a plan with your doctor for managing your blood sugar while pregnant. Your doctor may change your diabetes treatment during your pregnancy (such as diet and medications including insulin).
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. However, similar drugs pass into breast milk. Breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
See also How to Use section.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Many drugs can affect your blood sugar levels, making it more difficult to control your blood sugar. Before you start, stop, or change any medication, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how the medication may affect your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor about the results and of any symptoms of high or low blood sugar. (See also Side Effects section.) Your doctor may need to adjust your anti-diabetic medication, exercise program, or diet.
Beta-blocker medications (including metoprolol, propranolol, glaucoma eye drops such as timolol) may prevent the fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when your blood sugar level falls too low (hypoglycemia). Other symptoms of low blood sugar such as dizziness, hunger, or sweating are unaffected by these drugs.
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that could affect your blood sugar. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: shakiness, fast heartbeat, sweating, loss of consciousness.
Do not share this medication with others.
Attend a diabetes education program to learn more about diabetes and the important aspects of its treatment, including medications, diet, exercise, and getting regular eye/foot/medical exams.
Learn the symptoms of high and low blood sugar and how to treat low blood sugar. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments. Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as liver and kidney function tests, fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c, complete blood counts) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised July 2016. Copyright(c) 2016 First Databank, Inc.
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