Glimepiride review

Glimepiride is an antidiabetic drug belonging to a class of medications known as sulfonylureas. It has medium-to-long acting effects in lowering blood sugar levels in patients suffering from diabetes mellitus, also known as type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a type of metabolic disorder where the body exhibits resistance to insulin, an insulin deficiency, and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). While this condition can usually be managed through a modified diet and regular exercise, some sufferers will need to take specific medications like sulfonylurea drugs.

Glimepiride is especially indicated in patients who are unable to control their conditions through diet or exercise alone. It is immediately absorbed in the body within an hour after intake, and it works by stimulating the pancreas to increase its production of the hormone insulin, thereby lowering the body's blood sugar levels.

Controlling one's high blood sugar levels lowers a person's chances of acquiring cardiovascular and kidney diseases, circulation disorders, strokes, sexual dysfunctions (impotence), and blindness.

Sometimes Glimepiride is used with insulin to help patients with hyperglycemia lower their blood sugar levels. However, a combined use of these antidiabetic agents may increase the risk for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels).

Before taking the medication, patients should let their doctor know if they have had a history of allergies to Glimepiride or any of its components, as well as allergies to other antidiabetic or sulfa medications, diuretics, or sulfonamide antibiotics. It is also important that the doctor be aware of the presence of any kidney, liver or thyroid diseases, and other serious infections.

Drinking alcoholic beverages is counterindicated for patients taking Glimepiride. Not only will it cause headaches, dizziness, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating and flushing, it can also result in dangerously low blood sugar levels.

Elderly or malnourished patients, and patients suffering from renal disorders or hepatic insufficiency will need reduced doses of Glimepiride to prevent any hypoglycemic side effects.

Patients taking antibiotics, anticoagulants (blood thinners), diuretics (water pills), estrogens, MAO inhibitors, tranylcypromine, estrogens, oral contraceptives, beta-blockers, niacin, isoniazid, phenytoin, probenecid, prednisone, and medications for cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure should inform their doctor before starting Glimepiride therapy, as these drugs may cause blood sugar levels to rise, thereby rendering Glimepiride ineffective. Meanwhile, patients with diabetic ketoacidosis should refrain from taking Glimepiride and should be treated with insulin instead.

Glimepiride should only be used during pregnancy when it has been determined that the benefits far outweigh the risks it might pose to the unborn fetus. This drug may also be secreted into breast milk, and nursing mothers should refrain from taking Glimepiride to avoid causing hypoglycemia in the nursing infant.

In a study based on clinical trials undertaken by the University Group Diabetes Program, it was found that taking oral hypoglycemic drugs like sulfonylureas can increase the risk of mortality as compared to diabetes treatments consisting of a modified diet alone, or a diet combined with insulin medications. It was also found that taking Glimepiride with insulin or metformin increases the risks of developing serious hypoglycemia.

Taking Glimepiride causes photosensitivity. It is important for patients under treatment to avoid sunlamps, prolonged exposure to sunlight, and to wear sunscreen, protective clothing and sunglasses while outdoors.

There may be an increased potential for hypoglycemia during the first few weeks of treatment. This will carry with it symptoms of hunger, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, headaches, heartburn, excessive sweating, fast heartbeat, tremors, blurry vision, mood swings, and numbness and tingling in the fingers. These side effects will die down eventually as the body starts to adjust to the medication.

Glimepiride is available by prescription under the brand name Amaryl. It comes in 1 mg, 2 mg, and 4 mg in bottles of 100 tablets each. Glimepiride is usually taken once a day with breakfast, and dosage strength will depend on the extent of a patient's condition and their response to the medication.

While Glimepiride can lower blood sugar levels, it will not cure diabetes. Patients will need to take the drug regularly, and combine this treatment with a modified diet and regular exercise to be able to manage their condition more effectively.

Glimepiride has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of glimepiride

• Molecular formula of glimepiride is C24H34N4O5S
• Chemical IUPAC Name is 3-ethyl-N,N-bis(3-ethyl-4-methyl-2-oxo-5H-pyrrol-2-yl)-4- methyl-2-oxo-5H-pyrrole-1-carboxamide
• Molecular weight is 490.617 g/mol
Glimepiride available : 1mg tablets, 2mg tablets, 4mg tablets

Brand name(s): Amarel, Amaryl, Endial, Glimepirid, Glimepirida, Glimepiridum, Glimepride

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