Before you begin taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Allergy: Some people who are allergic to sulfonamide antibiotics or other similar diabetes medications also experience allergic reactions to glimepiride. Before you take glimepiride inform your doctor about any previous adverse reactions you have had to medications, especially to antibiotics or other diabetes medications. Contact your doctor at once if you experience signs of an allergic reaction, such as skin rash, itching, difficulty breathing or swelling of the face and throat.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Due to the effect of glimepiride on blood sugar, it may affect the mental or physical abilities needed to drive or operate machinery. Avoid driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous tasks until you have determined how this medication affects you.
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar): Hypoglycemia is a condition in which blood sugar levels are abnormally low. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
- lack of energy
- numbness or tingling of the mouth
People with more severe hypoglycemia can experience blurred vision, confusion, and an inability to concentrate. If left untreated, severe hypoglycemia can lead to convulsions (seizures) and unconsciousness within minutes. People who are more likely to become hypoglycemic include seniors, people with reduced liver or kidney function, people who are malnourished, or people taking beta-blockers or other medications that lower blood sugar. Low blood sugar is more likely to occur when food intake is inadequate, or after strenuous or prolonged physical exercise. Blood sugar should be monitored regularly and an emergency source of sugar (e.g., a sugar packet, orange juice, or hard candy) and glucagon kit should be made available in case the need arises to increase blood sugar levels.
Loss of blood sugar control: People on glimepiride may experience loss of blood sugar control during illness or stressful situations such as fever, infection, trauma, or surgery. Under these conditions, your doctor may consider stopping the medication and prescribing insulin until your blood sugar is controlled and within target levels. For some people, their doctor may prescribe insulin or metformin in combination with glimepiride to control blood sugar.
Proper diet: Glimepiride is a treatment to be used in combination with a proper diet. Glimepiride is not as a substitute for a proper diet.
Worsening of condition: Over time, glimepiride may become less effective because of the worsening of diabetes. Talk to your doctor if glimepiride no longer controls your blood glucose to target levels. Your doctor may ask you to stop this medication, or continue this medication and take an additional antidiabetic medication to help control your blood sugar.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if glimepiride passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
Seniors: The side effects of this medication may be more noticeable in seniors. People who are over 65 years old should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect them and whether any special monitoring is needed.