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    Glimepiride + Metformin

    Information about Glimepiride + Metformin

    Glimepiride + metformin uses

    Glimepiride+Metformin is used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

    How glimepiride + metformin works

    This is a combination of two antidiabetic medicines: Glimepiride and Metformin. Glimepiride is a sulfonylurea which works by increasing the amount of insulin released by the pancreas in order to lower the blood glucose. Metformin is a biguanide which works by lowering glucose production in the liver, delaying glucose absorption from intestines and increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin.

    Common side effects of glimepiride + metformin

    Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level), Taste change, Nausea, Diarrhea, Stomach pain, Headache, Upper respiratory tract infection

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    Expert advice for Glimepiride + Metformin

    • You have been prescribed this combination medicine as it can control blood sugar better than metformin alone.
    • You should continue to exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and take your other diabetes medicines along with Glimepiride + Metformin.
    • Take it with food to lower your chance of having an upset stomach.
    • Monitor your blood sugar level regularly while you are taking this medicine. 
    • Inform your doctor about your diabetes treatment if you are due to have surgery under a general anesthetic.
    • It can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level) when used with other antidiabetic medicines, alcohol or if you delay or miss a meal. 
    • Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any deep or rapid breathing or if you have persistent nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain as Glimepiride + Metformin may cause a rare but serious condition called lactic acidosis, which is an excess of lactic acid in the blood.
    • Your doctor may check your liver function regularly. Inform your doctor if you develop symptoms such as abdominal pain, loss of appetite, or yellowing of the eyes or skin (jaundice).

    Frequently asked questions for Glimepiride + Metformin

    Glimepiride + Metformin

    Q. What is Glimepiride+Metformin?

    Glimepiride+Metformin is a combination of two medicines: Glimepiride and Metformin. This medicine is used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). It improves blood glucose levels in adults when taken along with proper diet and regular exercise. Glimepiride lowers the blood glucose levels by increasing the release of insulin from the pancreas. Metformin works by lowering the glucose production in the liver and improving insulin sensitivity. This combination is not indicated for the treatment of type 1 DM.

    Q. What are the possible side effects of Glimepiride+Metformin?

    The use of Glimepiride+Metformin is associated with common side effects like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level), altered taste, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, headache and upper respiratory tract infection. Its use can also lead to serious but rare side effects like lactic acidosis. On long-term use it can also lead to Vitamin B12 deficiency.

    Q. Can the use of Glimepiride+Metformin cause hypoglycemia?

    Yes, the use of Glimepiride+Metformin can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level). Symptoms of hypoglycemia include nausea, headache, irritability, hunger, sweating, dizziness, fast heart rate and feeling anxious or shaky. It happens more often if you miss or delay your food, drink alcohol, over-exercise or take other antidiabetic medicine along with it. So, regular monitoring of the blood sugar level is important. Always keep a quick source of sugar like glucose tablets, honey or fruit juice with you.

    Q. Can the use of Glimepiride+Metformin lead to lactic acidosis?

    Yes, the use of Glimepiride+Metformin can lead to lactic acidosis. It is a medical emergency which is caused by increased levels of lactic acid in the blood. It is also known as MALA (Metformin-associated lactic acidosis). It is a rare side effect associated with the use of metformin and therefore, it is considered to be harmful for patients with underlying kidney disease, old age patients or who take large amounts of alcohol. Symptoms of lactic acidosis may include muscle pain or weakness, dizziness, tiredness, feeling of cold in arms and legs, difficulty in breathing, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or slow heart rate. If you have these symptoms, stop taking Glimepiride+Metformin and consult your doctor immediately.

    Q. Can the use of Glimepiride+Metformin lead to Vitamin B12 deficiency?

    Yes, the use of Glimepiride+Metformin can cause Vitamin B12 deficiency on long-term use. It interferes with the absorption of Vitamin B12 in the stomach. If untreated, it may cause anemia and nerve problems and the patient can experience tingling sensation and numbness in hands and feet, weakness, urinary problems, change in mental status and difficulty in maintaining balance (ataxia). To avoid such problems, some researchers suggest an intake of Vitamin B12 from outside sources at least once every year.

    Q. Is it safe to take alcohol while I am also taking Glimepiride+Metformin?

    No, it is not safe to take Glimepiride+Metformin along with alcohol, as it may lower your blood sugar levels and lead to hypoglycemia. It can also increase the chances of lactic acidosis.

    Q. What are the recommended storage conditions for Glimepiride+Metformin?

    Keep this medicine in the container or the pack it came in, tightly closed. Store it according to the instructions mentioned on the pack or label. Dispose of the unused medicine. Make sure it is not consumed by pets, children and other people.

    Content on this page was last updated on 23 November, 2018, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)