Glimepiride: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Precautions, Price & More

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Glimepiride: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Precautions & More

What is Glimepiride?

  • Glimepiride is an oral anti-diabetic drug which is used to lower the blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetic patients.
  • Glimepiride should not be used in patients with type 1 diabetes in which body doesn’t produce insulin as Glimepiride will only help reduce blood sugar if your body produces insulin naturally.
  • Glimepiride comes in tablet form and is available in different strengths: 1mg, 2mg and 4mg for oral use.
  • The active ingredient of these tablets is Glimepiride whereas other active ingredients include: lactose, sodium starch glycolate, povidone and magnesium stearate.
  • Glimepiride tablets can either be used alone or in combination with insulin therapy or with other anti-diabetic medications like Metformin to reduce blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetics.
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How does Glimepiride work?

  • Glimepiride is an oral hypoglycaemic drug which belongs to Sulfonylurea group.
  • The primary mechanism of action of Glimepiride is stimulating the release of insulin from pancreas.
  • In addition, Glimepiride also seems to have extra-pancreatic effects like increased sensitivity of peripheral tissues to insulin and decrease of insulin uptake by the liver.

Glimepiride Price in India

Specifics Glimepiride Price
2mg Metformin 500mg 10*10 Tablets Rs 470

How to Take Glimepiride?

  • The dosage and duration of treatment with Glimepiride is based on your age, severity of condition, physical health, and response to therapy.
  • Glimepiride should always be taken just before or with the first meal of the day (usually breakfast). Skipping meals should be avoided.
  • Non pharmacologic therapy (dietary modification, weight control and exercise) is equally essential to reduce blood glucose levels along with Glimepiride therapy.
  • For ideal results, it should always be taken at a fixed time.
  • The tablet should be swallowed as a whole without crushing, chewing or breaking it along with plenty of fluids.
  • The medicine should not be stopped on your own without doctor’s consent or before the complete course.
  • If it is taken as over the counter product, check the label for directions before use.

Common Dosage for Glimepiride

  • There is no fixed dose regimen of Glimepiride for the treatment of diabetes. Constant monitoring of blood glucose levels and dose variation accordingly is must.
  • To reduce the risk of side effects, your doctor may initially start from a low dose and gradually increase your dose based on your condition.
  • The usual starting dose of Glimepiride as initial therapy is 1mg once daily administered with first meal. Maximum initial dose should not exceed 2mg per day.
  • After reaching a dose of 2mg, dosage increment should be made in no more than 1mg increment in 1-2 weeks time based on the glucose level of the patient.
  • Maximum recommended dose is 8mg per day while the usual maintenance dose is 1-4mg per day.
  • Patients who do not respond adequately to maximum dose of glimepiride can be administered with a combination of Glimepiride and metformin or glimepiride and insulin combination therapy.
  • It should be used with caution in patients with history of liver and kidney disease and should be avoided in pregnant patients.
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Precautions- When to Avoid Glimepiride

Glimepiride should be avoided or used with caution in:

  • Patients with allergy to any of its components
  • Type 1 diabetes (insulin dependent diabetes)
  • Pregnant and lactating females
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Severe kidney or liver function disorders
  • Patients with G6PD deficiency (genetic problem)
  • Children below 18 years of age

Side-effects of Glimepiride

  • In addition to its intended uses, glimepiride may cause few undesirable side effects which may include:
  • Hypoglycaemia – most commonly observed if patients take this medicine before meals or when patients skip their meals. Symptoms of hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose) include:
  • Restlessness
  • Headache
  • Sleepiness
  • Impaired concentration
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Tremor
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Tachycardia (increased heart beat)
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating

Other less commonly observed side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Thrombocytopenia (Decreased platelet count)
  • Leukopenia (Decreased white blood cell count)
  • Erythropenia (Decreased red blood cell count)
  • Pancytopenia (decreased count of RBC, WBC and Platelet)
  • Liver damage – jaundice, itchy skin, dark coloured urine, constant sleepiness
  • In addition it may cause some other allergic or unwanted effects. In such cases, seek medical attention immediately.

Effect on organs

  • Heart – Administration of Glimepiride and other hypoglycaemic drugs have been reported to be associated with increased cardiovascular mortality.
  • Liver – Patients with pre-existing liver disease should use Glimepiride with caution as it can cause severe hepatic impairment.

Reported Allergic Reactions

  • Allergic reactions with Glimepiride have been reported. Inform your doctor if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
  • Signs of allergic reaction include:
  • Rashes/itching of skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Angioedema (painless swelling under the skin)

Drug Interactions to Be Careful About

  • Drug interactions refer to effect of drugs on each other and on human body after ingestion. There are large numbers of medicines which have shown to interact with each other.
  • It is always advisable that the patient must inform the doctor about all the drugs/over the counter products/vitamin supplements used while using Glimepiride.
  • All the possible drug interactions might not be listed here. Few important drugs which interact with Glimepiride are listed below:
  • Alcohol
  • Rifampicin
  • Fluconazole
  • Miconazole
  • Glucagon
  • Somatropin
  • Barbiturates
  • Corticosteroids
  • Tetracyclines
  • Chloramphenicol
  • Quinolones
  • Phenytoin
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Propanolol
  • Using all these products along with Glimepiride can influence the therapeutic effect of these medicines and also can increase the chances of side effects.
  • Thus dose alteration or drug replacement might be needed when Glimepiride is taken along with these drugs.

Shows Effects / Results In:

  • Glimepiride starts showing its effect within 24-48 hours by reducing the blood glucose levels. However, maximum effect takes some time depending upon the severity of condition.
  • A complete dose prescribed by your doctor must be taken for complete diabetes control even if symptoms have disappeared.
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Storage of Glimepiride

  • Store at cool and dry place away from direct heat and moisture.
  • Do not freeze the medicine.
  • Keep medicines away from children and pets.

Pro Tips When Taking Glimepiride

  • Glimepiride tablets should be administered along with non pharmacologic therapy (proper dietary modification, weight control and exercise) to achieve best results. In early type 2 diabetes, only non pharmacologic therapy may well provide ideal results.
  • Over a period of time, patients may become less responsive to oral anti diabetic drugs because of deterioration of their diabetic state. Patients should therefore be monitored with regular lab tests like blood glucose levels and HbA1C to determine effective dosage.
Also Read about other medicine's: Gemcal | Glycomet GP2

FAQ

Is Glimepiride addictive?

  • No habit forming tendency has been reported. However over dependence to these medicines should be avoided.

Can I have Glimepiride with alcohol?

  • Consumption of alcohol is not recommended when on Glimepiride therapy as it may alter blood sugar levels.
  • It is best not to drink alcohol when on Glimepiride therapy. Consult your doctor for further recommendations.

Any particular food item to be avoided?

  • No alteration in its action seen with any food product.

Can I have Glimepiride when pregnant?

  • Glimepiride is not recommended during pregnancy as abnormal blood glucose levels during pregnancy are associated with higher incidence of congenital abnormalities.
  • Consult your doctor in case if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant for case specific recommendations

Can I have Glimepiride when feeding a baby?

  • Glimepiride is not recommended for use while you are breast feeding as the drug may pass into breast milk and may harm the foetus by decreasing blood sugar levels.
  • Consult your doctor for case specific recommendations.

Can I drive after taking Glimepiride?

  • Glimepiride intake doesn’t affect your ability to drive. However hypoglycaemia caused due to over dosage or skipping meals and hyperglycaemia due to improper dosage may cause drowsiness, fatigue, impaired concentration, sleepiness etc which may hinder with driving and operating heavy machinery.

What happens if I overdose on Glimepiride?

  • Glimepiride should never be administered in more than prescribed dose.
  • Taking more medication or with increased frequency may cause serious Hypoglycaemia (symptoms of which have been mentioned above)
  • If suspected of an over-dosage, seek medical care immediately.

What happens if I take expired Glimepiride?

  • A single dose of expired Glimepiride may not cause any major adverse effect. However, the potency of the medicine may well have decreased overtime and it may cause hyperglycaemia (increased blood glucose levels).
  • Please inform your physician regarding the same if expired medicines have been taken chronically for a longer duration.

What happens if I miss a dose of Glimepiride?

  • The medicine may not work well if you miss a dose because a certain amount of drug must be present in your body at all times for its effective working,
  • If you forgot to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. But, if it’s already time to take the second dose – do not take double dose.

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