Amaryl is a brand name for glimepiride, a sulfonylurea drug that lowers blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes mellitus type 2. Amaryl is available only by physician prescription.
The active ingredient in Amaryl is glimepiride, which belongs to a class of antidiabetic drugs called sulfonylurea that fights insulin resistance in patients afflicted with type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes mellitus type 2 (formerly known as adult-onset diabetes) is a medical condition where the body cannot control the levels of glucose in the blood. This is caused by blood glucose levels that are higher than normal. The body issues a substance called insulin, produced by the pancreas, to control the amount of glucose in blood. Insulin helps glucose molecules enter cells. When there’s too much glucose in the bloodstream, the pancreas is unable to produce more insulin to control the excess. Too much demand impairs the pancreatic beta cells that make insulin, further diminishing the body’s ability to control blood sugar.
Glimepiride can stimulate these pancreatic beta cells to produce insulin so the body always has enough to control blood sugar. If untreated, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) can lead to a potentially fatal condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Additionally, having too much blood sugar can lead to a variety of health problems including nerve damage (neuropathy), kidney problems, retinal damage in the eye, hearing impairment and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Amaryl is not a “cure” for diabetes and the drug alone cannot lower blood sugar levels on the long run. Healthy eating habits, diet plans and regular exercise are essential to control and prevent type 2 diabetes. Amaryl is commonly prescribed in combination with these lifestyle changes.
Amaryl is not effective against type 1 diabetes, a condition where the immune system destroys pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin.
Amaryl is available as oral tablets.
The dosage of Amaryl will vary depending on factors such as severity of the disease, response to treatment and physician recommendation.
Amaryl tablets should be swallowed once daily with breakfast (or the first meal). It’s highly recommended to take Amaryl the same time each day.
Do not take more or less of Amaryl than prescribed. To reduce the risk of severe side effects, take Amaryl exactly as prescribed.
Patients who are allergic to glimepiride and similar sulfonylureas or sulfonamides should not take Amaryl.
Amaryl is not suitable for patients with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. Amaryl does not treat either of these conditions.
Amaryl may not be safe for use when pregnant, breastfeeding or attempting to get pregnant.
Patients with histories of kidney or liver disease should discuss the risk of taking Amaryl with a physician.
Oral blood glucose lowering drugs like Amaryl may increase the mortality risk for patients with cardiovascular disease.
Amaryl may cause one or more of the following side effects:
Hypersensitivity of the skin such as rashes or itching
Rare but serious side effects of Amaryl include jaundice, stomach pain, dark-colored urine, weight fluctuations and flu-like symptoms. Seek immediate medical care if these side effects occur.
Side effects are not limited to the above.