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Glimepiride Tablet: Uses, Side Effects and Dosage

A prescription drug that comes in the form of tablets, glimepiride is available both as a normal drug and under the Amaryl brand name, with the former costing lesser. It is mostly given in combination with other drugs, also known as combination therapy.

Those with type 2 diabetes are given glimepiride so that it reduces high blood sugar levels, and this drug is mostly suggested along with daily exercise and a specific diet. It is also used with insulin and/or other kinds of drugs for diabetes to control high blood sugar.

 

Composition and Nature of Glimepiride Tablet:

One tablet is made of 1 mg of glimepiride and 78.37 mg of lactose monohydrate. Other components are sodium starch glycolate (type A), povidone K-30, magnesium stearate and iron oxide red (E172). It normally has a shelf life of 2 years, and is generally used to long-term treatment, and not following prescribed consumption can be fatal.

 

Uses of Glimepiride Tablet:

Glimepiride comes from a class of drugs known as sulfonylureas, and helps the pancreas secrete insulin, which is the chemical our body releases to move sugar from blood to the cells. It is normally prescribed along with an exercise and diet program for Type-2 diabetes patients. It is to be taken orally along with the first meal of the day, and dosage varies on seriousness of condition and response of patient. The doctor may also start off with a low dose and gradually increase the same.

 

Side Effects of Glimepiride Tablet:

Mild side effects could include nausea, unexplained weight gain and upset stomach. These should go away in a matter of few days to two weeks. If not, bring it to the notice of your doctor immediately.

With regards to slightly more serious side effects, glimepiride can also lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), with symptoms including:

  • Trembling
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Fast heart palpitations
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Voracious hunger

In some cases, glimepiride may be unable to control ones blood sugar, which in turn will mean the person’s diabetes may be out of control. This could result in hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), and it is advisable to call the doctor. 

If the following symptoms are experienced:

  • Slow-healing cuts
  • Faster rate of urinating than usual
  • Despite eating, the person feels extremely hungry
  • Very tired
  • High thirst
  • Numbness in hands and feet
  • Unclear vision

In more serious cases, consumption glimepiride of can lead to a variety of allergic reactions like:

  • Stevens-Johnsons Syndrome: A rare yet harmful disorder of the skin and mucous glands, which falls in the mouth and nose. Begins with symptoms resembling flu, which is followed by blisters and red rashes.
  • Anaphylaxis: An allergic reaction that could end up being life-threatening, with symptoms including swelling of throat/tongue, breathing problems and difficulty in swallowing.
  • Angioedema: Leads to swelling of skin, mucous membrane and layers under skin.

Another serious side effect includes damage to liver, which will see the following symptoms:

  • Itchy skin
  • Dark-color urine
  • Vomiting
  • Easy bruising
  • Yellowing of skin and eyes (jaundice alert)
  • Legs and ankles swell up
  • Stomach pain/swelling
  • Vomiting
  • Itchy skin
  • Pale/tar-coloured stool

Other serious side effects include low blood platelet count, which can be identified via sudden infections and bleeding that takes longer to stop than usual and low sodium levels, which is called hypernatremia. Low sodium also leads to syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH), a situation where the body is unable to get out excess water via urination. SIADH leads to low sodium levels in the blood (hypernatremia). 

which can be fatal and the symptoms for which are:

  • Coma
  • Headache
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Muscle cramps
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of energy

 

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Glimepiride Tablet Dosage:

Dosage can depend on a lot of factors:

  • Age
  • Severity of condition
  • What kind of condition
  • Other medical conditions of the patient
  • Reaction to first dosage

If one does not take glimepiride at all, then they will continue suffering from high blood sugar, and this could ultimately lead to deterioration of eyes, nerves, kidneys and heart. This could also lead to more severe problems like heart attack, blindness and kidney failure.

If dose is missed, as long as not much time has passed since the prescribed time of consumption, one can still take the tablet. But if it is time for the next dose, then consider the previous dose as missed.

 

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How Glimepiride Works:

It reduces blood sugar levels, and this can be seen via lower reading of the same. Same if it is prescribed to increase blood sugar levels. In case of type-2 diabetes, glimepiride does its work by helping the pancreas secrete more insulin, thus helping shift the sugar to the cells, instead of staying in the bloodstream and making it dangerous for the patient.

 

Precautions and Warning Related To Glimepiride Tablet:

In case of an overdose of glimepiride, a person may suffer harmful symptoms like fainting or troubles in breathing, and it is best to call an ambulance as soon as possible.

In some cases, usage of glimepiride could lead to fatal heart attacks, as compared to those who are getting treatment via just diet or insulin. Hence, it is advisable to consult your doctor and check if it is the right drug for you.

 

Substitutes of Glimepiride Tablet:

Some of the alternative drugs of Glimepiride are:

  • Diabeta (generic name glyburide)
  • Glucotrol (glipizide), Byetta (exenatide)
  • Precose (acarbose)
  • Actos (pioglitazone)
  • Januvia (sitagliptin)
  • Lantus (insulin glargine)
  • Glucophage (metformin).

 

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Glimepiride Tablet Interactions:

One should get a list of all products he/she used (including medicines and herbal products) and check with the doctor so that none of them can interact with glimepiride and cause any kind of unwanted problems. Interactions can lead to changes in the way the drug one is consuming works, which can either be harmful or not have the desired results.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

 

1) Do I need to consult a doctor before I start on this drug?

Ans: A Sometimes, results may not be as forthcoming as the patient expects, and this could be because of his/her reaction to the dosage, and it is advisable to consult the doctor for the same.

 

2) How do I take the medicine?

Ans: A It is best to take the tablet after breakfast, or after the first meal of the day, and make sure to not miss too many dosages.

 

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Last updated on : 15-03-2019

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