Without a Prescription
Amaryl increases the uptake of sugar from the blood into muscle and fat cells and decreases the production of sugar by the liver.
Amaryl is a first line option for treating type 2 diabetes in people who are not overweight. It is prescribed when diet and exercise have failed to control blood sugar levels. It can be prescribed in combination with other antidiabetic drugs to provide better control of blood sugar.
Amaryl is an oral medication prescribed to treat type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes when diet and exercise alone fail to control abnormally high levels of blood sugar. Like other diabetes drugs classified as sulfonylureas, Amaryl lowers blood sugar by stimulating the pancreas to produce more insulin. Amaryl is often prescribed along with the insulin-boosting drug Glucophage. It may be prescribed in conjunction with insulin and other diabetes drugs.
Amaryl is prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, when diet has failed to fully control blood sugar.
Amaryl tablets are normally taken once a day, shortly before or during the first meal of the day.
Amaryl tablets contain the active ingredient glimepiride, which is a type of drug called a sulphonylurea. Glimepiride is available without a brand name, ie as the generic drug. Glimepiride is prescribed to help control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Amaryl works mainly by stimulating the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. These cells are called beta cells. Glimepiride causes the beta cells to produce more insulin and this insulin removes sugar from the blood.
All these actions help to decrease the amount of sugar in the blood of people with type 2 diabetes.
People with type 2 diabetes have a deficiency of a hormone called insulin. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and is the main hormone responsible for controlling sugar levels in the blood. It normally makes the cells of the body remove excess sugar from the blood. In type 2 diabetes insulin is produced inefficiently in response to surges of blood sugar, eg following a meal. The cells of the body become resistant to the action of insulin that is produced, which means that blood sugar levels can become too high.
Amaryl side effects that you should report to your health care professional or doctor as soon as possible:
- Allergic skin reactions such as rash or itching;
- Allergy to active ingredients;
- Anemia and other blood disorders;
- Blurred vision;
- Cholestatic jaundice;
- Disturbance in liver function;
- Disturbance in the normal numbers of blood cells in the blood;
- Disturbances of the gut such as diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain;
- Inflammation of the liver;
- Liver problems and jaundice;
- Low blood sugar level;
- Muscle weakness;
- Sensitivity to light;
- Skin rash and eruptions;
- Stomach and intestinal pain;
- Temporary visual disturbances at start of treatment;
- Weight gain;
Amaryl, like all oral antidiabetics, can result in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). The risk of hypoglycemia can be increased by missed meals, alcohol, fever, injury, infection, surgery, excessive exercise, and the addition of other medications such as Glucophage or insulin. To avoid hypoglycemia, closely follow the dietary and exercise regimen suggested by your doctor.
Symptoms of mild low blood sugar may include:
- Fast heartbeat;
- Cold sweats;
- Blurred vision;
Symptoms of more severe low blood sugar may include:
- Shallow breathing;
- Pale skin;
Ask your doctor what steps you should take if you experience mild hypoglycemia. If symptoms of severe low blood sugar occur, contact your doctor immediately; severe hypoglycemia is a medical emergency.
Safety and effectiveness in children have not been established.
The maximum starting dose is 2 mg.
The usual starting dose is 1 to 2 mg taken once daily with breakfast or the first main meal.
If necessary, your doctor will gradually increase the dose 1 or 2 mg at a time every 1 or 2 weeks.
Your diabetes will probably be controlled on 1 to 4 mg a day; the most you should take in a day is 8 mg.
If the maximum dose fails to do the job, your doctor may add Glucophage to your regimen.
Weakened or malnourished people and those with adrenal, pituitary, kidney, or liver disorders are particularly sensitive to hypoglycemic drugs such as Amaryl and should start at 1 mg once daily.
Your doctor will increase your medication based on your response to Amaryl.