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Precautions and Warnings With Glimepiride

There are several precautions and warnings with glimepiride to be aware of, including potential allergic reactions and the risk of death due to heart or blood vessel problems. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider if you have adrenal insufficiency, liver or kidney problems, or pituitary gland problems. Also, let your healthcare provider know of any medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Glimepiride: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

Prior to taking glimepiride (Amaryl®), you should talk with your healthcare provider if you have:
 
  • Kidney problems, including kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Liver problems, including liver failure or cirrhosis
  • Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD deficiency) 
  • Adrenal insufficiency or adrenal fatigue
  • Pituitary gland problems
  • Any allergies, including allergies to sulfa drugs, foods, dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you:
 
  • Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Will be having surgery.
     
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Some Glimepiride Precautions and Warnings

Some glimepiride warnings and precautions to be aware of include:
 
  • Oral diabetes medicines, including glimepiride, may increase the risk of death due to heart or blood vessel problems compared to diabetes treatment using diet or insulin. This warning is based on one research study that looked at a medication similar to glimepiride. It is unclear at this time how important this risk may be in people taking glimepiride.
     
  • If you are allergic to sulfonamides ("sulfa" medications), you may also be allergic to glimepiride. Let your healthcare provider know if you have a sulfa allergy.
     
  • Glimepiride can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Glimepiride).
     
  • Glimepiride is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that glimepiride may not be safe during pregnancy. Talk with your healthcare provider about taking glimepiride during pregnancy (see Amaryl and Pregnancy for more information).
     
  • It is not known if glimepiride passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about this.

 

  • In people with glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD deficiency), it is possible that glimepiride might increase the risk of a dangerous problem known as hemolytic anemia. A few cases have even been reported in people that did not have G6PD deficiency. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop signs of hemolytic anemia, such as:
  •  
    • Pale skin
    • Fatigue
    • A rapid heart rate
    • Yellow skin (jaundice)
    • Shortness of breath
    • Dark urine.

 

  • Glimepiride can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in some people. This is more common in elderly people and in people with adrenal, pituitary, liver, or kidney problems, as well as during fasting before surgery and after prolonged exercise. Low blood sugar symptoms may include irritability, trembling, cold sweats, or blurry vision, among other things (see Amaryl and Blood Sugar for more information).
     
  • Fever, infections, injury, or surgery can temporarily increase blood sugar, even in people with well-controlled diabetes. Glimepiride may not be enough to treat your diabetes at these times, and the use of insulin may be required. Contact your healthcare provider if you have a fever, infection, injury, or will be having surgery. Also, make sure you know the symptoms of high blood sugar and how to check your blood sugar levels (see Amaryl and Blood Sugar for more information).
     
  • Over time, glimepiride may become less effective at controlling blood sugar levels. This may be because your diabetes has gotten worse or your body is not responding as well to the glimepiride. In these cases, glimepiride may need to be combined with another oral diabetes medication or insulin. You healthcare provider may also recommend switching diabetes medication (see Amaryl Alternatives).
     
  • Sulfonylurea medicines, such as glimepiride, have been reported to increase the sensitivity to the sun. Therefore, when going outdoors, try wearing long sleeves, pants, and a hat. Any exposed skin should be covered with sunscreen that is at least SPF 15.
     
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Glimepiride Drug Info

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