GLIMEPIRIDE (GLYE me pye ride) treats type 2 diabetes. It works by increasing insulin levels in your body, which decreases your blood sugar (glucose). It also helps your body use insulin more effectively. It belongs to a group of medications called sulfonylureas. Changes to diet and exercise are often combined with this medication.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency
Severe infection or injury
An unusual or allergic reaction to glimepiride, sulfa medications, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
Pregnancy or recent attempts to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth. Swallow with a drink of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your dose at the same time each day, with breakfast or your first large meal. Do not take more often than directed.
Talk to your care team regarding the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Elderly patients over 65 years old can have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
Medications for fungal or yeast infections
This medication may also interact with the following:
Alcohol containing beverages
Aspirin and aspirin-like medications
Female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills
Heart medications like disopyramide
Male hormones or anabolic steroids
Medications called MAO Inhibitors like Nardil, Parnate, Marplan, Eldepryl
Medications for allergies, asthma, cold, or cough
Medications for mental problems
Medications for weight loss
NSAIDs, medications for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
Quinolone antibiotics like ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, ofloxacin
Some herbal dietary supplements
Steroid medications like prednisone or cortisone
Water pills (diuretics)
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)—tremors or shaking, anxiety, sweating, cold or clammy skin, confusion, dizziness, rapid heartbeat
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress.
A test called the HbA1C (A1C) will be monitored. This is a simple blood test. It measures your blood sugar control over the last 2 to 3 months. You will receive this test every 3 to 6 months.
Learn how to check your blood sugar. Learn the symptoms of low and high blood sugar and how to manage them.
Always carry a quick-source of sugar with you in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar. Examples include hard sugar candy or glucose tablets. Make sure others know that you can choke if you eat or drink when you develop serious symptoms of low blood sugar, such as seizures or unconsciousness. They must get medical help at once.
Tell your care team if you have high blood sugar. You might need to change the dose of your medication. If you are sick or exercising more than usual, you might need to change the dose of your medication.
Do not skip meals. Ask your care team if you should avoid alcohol. Many nonprescription cough and cold products contain sugar or alcohol. These can affect blood sugar.
This medication can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
Wear a medical ID bracelet or chain, and carry a card that describes your disease and details of your medication and dosage times.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature below 30 degrees C (86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.