Glimepiride is an anti-diabetic drug prescribed to control high blood sugar. It is used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes, and works by increasing the body's natural insulin release. Glimepiride is a sulfonylurea, meaning it works to stimulate insulin release from beta cells in the pancreas. It is the first third-generation sulfonylurea, and is an especially potent drug.
The most common side effects of glimepiride are changes in blood sugar, particularly hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Low blood sugar is characterized by hunger, nausea, tiredness, headache, dizziness or lightheadedness, or numbness or tingling around the mouth. In serious cases, hypoglycemia can cause confusion, seizures, or loss of consciousness.
One of the other possible side effects of glimepiride is hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar. Symptoms of this include extreme hunger and thirst, frequent urination, weakness, and blurred vision. High blood sugar can lead to a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Symptoms of this include dry mouth, nausea and vomiting, shortness or breath, breath that smells fruity, and decreased consciousness.
Aside from blood sugar changes, side effects of glimepiride can include dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, heartburn, and rash. More serious side effects of glimepiride, which should be reported to a doctor, include breathing difficulties, dark urine, yellowing of the eyes or skin, fever, chills, and unusual bleeding or bruising. In some cases, glimepiride can make the user more sensitive to the sun. Users should avoid sun exposure when possible, or wear protective clothing and sun screen.
This is not an exhaustive list of all side effects of glimepiride. If experiencing any other symptom, see a doctor or medical professional as soon as possible. The side effects of glimepiride for pregnant or nursing women is unknown. The associated risks should be discussed with a doctor before beginning glimepiride.
Glimepiride is marketed under the brand name Amaryl, and sold by Sanofi-Aventis. It is generally taken once daily as a pill. Monitor blood glucose levels when taking glimepiride, and carry glucose tablets or gels to quickly raise blood sugar if necessary. Maintain a regime of diet and exercise to treat type 2 diabetes. Eat meals on a regular schedule to maintain blood-sugar levels.