Glimepiride is an medication used to treat type 2 diabetes. It works by causing the pancreas to produce insulin and helping the body to use that insulin more efficiently. According to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, glimepiride is associated with a one point decrease in A1C. It is approved as a first-line therapy for type 2 diabetes patients.
Brand name: Glimerpiride is marketed under the brand name Amaryl. Generic versions of the drug are also available.
Drug class: Amaryl belongs to a class of anti-diabetes medications known as sulfonylureas. Other drugs in this class include glipizide (Glucotrol) and glyburide (marketed as Diabeta, Glynase Prestab and Micronase). When taken correctly, sulfonylureas can decrease the incidence of complications such as eye, kidney and nerve disease.
Dosage: Glimepiride is an oral tablet that is usually taken in the morning or with the first meal of the day. Most diabetes patients only need to take one dose per day.
Side effects: Generally, Amaryl has few side effects, although nausea and low blood sugar are the most common adverse reactions. The chances of very low blood sugar increase if glimepiride is combined with alcohol or certain other medications.