Why is this medication prescribed?
Glimepiride is used with diet and exercise to treat type II (noninsulin-dependent) diabetes (formerly 'adult-onset'). Glimepiride stimulates your pancreas to make more insulin and also makes your body more sensitive to insulin. Glimepiride may be used with or without insulin.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Glimepiride comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken once a day. The tablet should be taken with breakfast or the first big meal of the day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take glimepiride exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Continue to take glimepiride even if you feel well. Do not stop taking glimepiride without talking to your doctor.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking glimepiride,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to glimepiride or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially antibiotics, anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin), dexamethasone (Decadron), diuretics ('water pills'), estrogens, isoniazid (INH), MAO inhibitors [phenelzine (Nardil) and tranylcypromine (Parnate)], medications for high blood pressure or heart disease, niacin, oral contraceptives, phenytoin (Dilantin), prednisone, probenecid (Benemid), and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease or ketoacidosis.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking glimepiride, call your doctor immediately.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking glimepiride.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Be sure to follow all exercise and dietary recommendations made by your doctor or dietitian. It is important to eat a healthful diet. Alcohol increases blood sugar; ask your doctor for information on how much is safe to drink.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. If you will be having a snack soon, take a dose with the snack. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Although side effects from glimepiride are not common, they can occur. If you have any of these symptoms, eat or drink a food or beverage with sugar in it, such as hard candy or fruit juice, and call your doctor immediately; symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) include:
- rapid heartbeat
- sweating or confusion
- blurred vision
- numbness or tingling of the mouth
- pale color
- sudden hunger
If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately; symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) include:
- dry mouth
- dry skin
- frequent urination
- loss of appetite
- trouble breathing
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- loss of consciousness
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison controlcenter at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsedor is not breathing, call local emergency services at911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to glimepiride.
To monitor the effectiveness of glimepiride, measure the amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood or urine (when blood sugar is above a certain high level, you will have sugar in your urine). For these measurements, you will need special paper tapes, tablets, or plastic strips that change color depending on how much sugar is present. You also can use a blood glucose meter to measure the amount of sugar in your blood. Your doctor also may ask you to test your urine for ketones (substances present when diabetes is not under control). Follow your doctor's directions for testing your urine and blood and for recording the results. If your blood sugar is high or if sugar or ketones are present in your urine, call your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.