1. What Amaryl is and what it is used for
Amaryl is a medicine taken by mouth to help lower blood sugar. It belongs to a group of medicines called sulfonylureas.
Amaryl works by increasing the amount of insulin released from your pancreas. The insulin then lowers your blood sugar levels.
What Amaryl is used for:
- Amaryl is used to treat a certain form of diabetes (type 2 diabetes mellitus) when diet, physical exercise and weight reduction alone have not been able to control your blood sugar levels.
2. What you need to know before you take Amaryl
Do not take Amaryl and tell your doctor if:
- You are allergic to: glimepiride or other sulfonylureas (medicines used to lower your blood sugar such as glibenclamide) or sulfonamides (medicines for bacterial infections such as sulfamethoxazole) or any of the other ingredients of this medicine (listed in section 6)
- You have insulin dependent diabetes (type 1 diabetes mellitus)
- You have diabetic ketoacidosis (a complication of diabetes when your acid level is raised in your body and you may have some of the following signs: fatigue, feeling sick (nausea), frequent urination and muscular stiffness)
- You are in a diabetic coma
- You have severe kidney disease
- You have a severe liver disease
Do not take this medicine if any of the above apply to you.
If you are not sure, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Amaryl.
Warnings and precautions
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking your medicine if:
- You are recovering from an injury, operation, infections with fever, or from other forms of stress, inform your doctor as temporary change of treatment may be necessary
- You have a severe liver or kidney disorder
If you are not sure if any of these apply to you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Amaryl.
Lowering of the haemoglobin level and breakdown of red blood cells (haemolytic anemia) can occur in patients missing the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase.
The information available on the use of Amaryl in people under 18 years of age is limited. Therefore, its use in these patients is not recommended.
3. How to take Amaryl
Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor has told you. You should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Taking this medicine
- Take this medicine by mouth, just before or with the first main meal of the day (usually breakfast). If you do not have breakfast you should take the medicine on schedule as prescribed by your doctor. It is important not to leave out any meal when you are on Amaryl
- Swallow the tablets with at least half glass of water. Do not crush or chew the tablets.
Rare side effects (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people)
- Lower blood sugar than normal (hypoglycaemia) (see section 2)
- Decrease in the number of blood cells:
- Blood platelets (which increases risk of bleeding or bruising)
- White blood cells (which makes infections more likely)
- Red blood cells (which can make the skin pale and cause weakness or breathlessness)
These problems generally get better after you stop taking Amaryl
Very rare side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10,000 people)
- Allergic reactions (including inflammation of blood vessels, often with skin rash) which may develop into serious reactions with difficulty in breathing, fall in blood pressure and sometimes progressing to shock. If you experience any of these symptoms, tell your doctor immediately
- Abnormal liver function including yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), impairment of the bile flow (cholestasis), inflammation of the liver (hepatitis) or liver failure. If you experience any of these symptoms, tell your doctor immediately
- Feeling or being sick, diarrhoea, feeling full or bloated, and abdominal pain
- Decrease in the amount of sodium level in your blood (shown by blood tests)
Other side effects include:
- Allergy (hypersensitivity) of the skin may occur such as itching, rash, hives and increased sensitivity to sun. Some mild allergic reactions may develop into serious reactions with swallowing or breathing problems, swelling of your lips, throat or tongue. Therefore in the event of one of these side effects, tell your doctor immediately
- Allergic reactions with sulfonylureas, sulfonamides, or related medicines may occur
- Problems with your sight may occur when beginning treatment with Amaryl. This is due to changes in blood sugar levels and should soon improve
- Increased liver enzymes
- Severe unusual bleeding or bruising under the skin