Amaryl

(glimepiride)

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Lowers blood sugar.

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Our bottom line

Amaryl (glimepiride) is an effective medicine for lowering blood sugar, but it can cause weight gain.

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Quick facts about Amaryl
  • Drug class: Endocrine
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (glimepiride)

Upsides

  • Needs to be taken only once a day.
  • Effectively lowers blood sugar and A1c levels by 1-2%. (A1c is a test that measures your average blood sugars over the past 3 months).
  • Amaryl (glimepiride) is an oral medicine so it might be a good alternative for those who don't like injections.
  • Protects your organs and blood vessels by preventing the harmful effects of high blood sugar levels.
  • Available as a generic form and is relatively cheap.
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What to expect from Amaryl, on one page

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Downsides

  • Amaryl (glimepiride) might cause weight gain.
  • Has a higher risk than other diabetes medicine for causing blood sugar levels to be too low.
  • Not preferred for people age 65 or older because they are at higher risk of experiencing side effects such as low blood sugar.
  • Might lose its effectiveness over time.
  • Needs to be taken 30 minutes before a meal for it to be most effective.
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What to expect from Amaryl, on one page

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How it works

Amaryl (glimepiride) is an anti-diabetic medicine. It stimulates your body to release insulin and lower blood sugar.

Quick facts about Amaryl
  • Drug class: Endocrine
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (glimepiride)

Dosage forms

  • Pill
Tried Amaryl? Write a review!

Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Amaryl (glimepiride) for Type 2 diabetes

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  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
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  • Possible side effects
  • Headache
  • Accidental injury
  • Flu syndrome
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood sugar
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Side effect rates for Amaryl (glimepiride)

From 1039 clinical trials of Amaryl when taken for type 2 diabetes (dosage ranged from 1-16 mg daily)
  • Headache
    8%8%
    8%8%
  • Accidental injury
    6%6%
    3%3%
  • Flu syndrome
    5%5%
    4%4%
  • Nausea
    5%5%
    3%3%
  • Dizziness
    5%5%
    2%2%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Amaryl.

Amaryl (glimepiride)
Placebo

People taking Amaryl felt side effect more

People taking Amaryl felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Amaryl (glimepiride)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Skipping meals or having inconsistent meal times
    • Drinking alcohol
    • Using other blood sugar-lowering medicine
    • People age 60 or older
    • Those with kidney and/or liver problems

    Amaryl (glimepiride) can drop your blood sugar to dangerously low levels, which can be life-threatening. Signs of low blood sugar include fast heartbeat, sweating, pale skin, shakiness, confusion and irritability. Make sure to carry with you some form of sugar such as hard candies or glucose tablets at all times while you are on this medicine.

Pharmacist Q&A

Amaryl (glimepiride) questions for

Frequently Asked Questions

This medication treats type 2 diabetes.

Who is this drug for?

This medication treats type 2 diabetes.

Common concerns from people taking Amaryl (glimepiride)

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Alcohol
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Amaryl (glimepiride).
Food
  • Eat regular and well-balanced meals to keep your blood sugar levels normal.
Kidneys and liver
  • People with kidney and/or liver problems take a longer time to get rid of Amaryl (glimepiride) from their body. They are more sensitive to the effects of low blood sugar that include symptoms such as fast heartbeat, sweating, pale skin, shakiness, confusion and irritability. They need to make sure to carry with them some form of sugar such as hard candies or glucose tablets at all times while they are on this medicine.
Weight
  • Amaryl (glimepiride) might cause weight gain.
  • Amaryl (glimepiride) might cause weight gain.