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Side Effects of Glimepiride (Amaryl)


Description: Glimepiride is an oral antidiabetic medicine used for type II diabetes patients who cannot control their high blood sugar with diet and exercise alone. It is a member of the sulfonylurea class of medications. Glimepiride is only effective when there is some remaining activity in the pancreas, as the drug stimulates those cells to release insulin. Insulin release is usually associated with lowered blood sugar.

Serious Glimepiride Side Effects

Serious adverse reactions include:

  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
  • Hemolytic Anemia
  • Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Mortality with Sulfonylureas
  • Anaphylaxi
  • Liver failure
  • Allergic skin reactions
  • Leukopenia
  • Agranulocytosis
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Pancytopenia
  • (Amaryl drug label as reported by the FDA (May 2009).

    Common Side Effects of Glimepiride

    Common reactions include:

  • Headache
  • Accidental Injury
  • Flu Syndrome
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • (Amaryl drug label as reported by the FDA (May 2009).

    Less Common Side Effects

    Less common side effects include:

  • Pruritus
  • Erythema
  • Urticaria and morbilliform or maculopapular eruptions
  • Photosensitivity reactions
  • (Amaryl drug label as reported by the FDA (May 2009).

    Understand Your Risks with the Rxight® Genetic Test

    You can find out what variations you have in your drug metabolism genes with one sophisticated test. This genotyping analysis is available from the Rxight® CLIA-certified PGx Testing program from MD Labs which is available from participating pharmacists with expertise in pharmacogenetics. With one simple cheek swab of your DNA which is sent to our labs for analysis, these test results can tell your physician about your ability to metabolize over 200 drugs or over-the-counter products across dozens of pharmacological classes. That means you and your prescriber can know beforehand about your ability to take any given new medication, or guide the adjustment of medications you are currently taking to minimize side effects and maximize efficacy.

    How Does Pharmacogenetic Testing Work?

    Pharmacogenetic testing is a burgeoning new medical field that emerged out of the sequencing of the human genome. Pharmacogenetic research showed that some people have variations in their genes that process medicines. Medicine processing is also called drug metabolism. The results may tell your physician that you aren’t able to metabolize a particular drug, or that you are a quick metabolizer, meaning that the dose would be reduced for possible lessened side effects. This advance in personalized medicine holds huge promise for treating patients with far more precision than with a “trial and error” approach, and a more individualized, personal approach to your medical care.


    Contributors to this Article:
    Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry


    Read more about Rxight® pharmacogenetics