What Is Glimepiride Used For?
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Glimepiride: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Warnings, and Precautions

Published on Nov 11, 2022 and last reviewed on Jan 31, 2023   -  6 min read


Glimepiride is a drug used to treat high blood sugar levels and is employed along with diet and exercise in people with type 2 diabetes. Learn about its uses, dosage, drug warnings, side effects, precautions, drug interactions, and more.


Glimepiride is a prescription antidiabetic drug used alone or in combination with other medications to treat type 2 diabetes (a condition where the blood glucose levels are high due to decreased response of the body to insulin). It is available as an oral tablet. Avoid taking this medication if there is a previous history of allergy to sulfonamide drugs or any of its components.

Drug Group:

Glimepiride belongs to the class of drugs called Sulfonylureas. It is classified as a second-generation sulfonylurea. Glimepiride facilitates the natural release of insulin in the body. The other drugs in this class include Glipizide, Gliclazide, Glibenclamide, etc.

What Is Glimepiride Used For?

It is a widely prescribed drug to treat and control high blood sugar levels for type 2 diabetes patients. The drug may be used alone or in combination with other drugs, and the control of diabetes is achieved through proper diet, physical activity, and therapy.

Never take Glimepiride or any other medication without talking to the physician first.

How Does Glimepiride Work?

Glimepiride is a sulfonylurea. The pancreas is the organ responsible for maintaining blood sugar levels by the secretion of two hormones-insulin and glucagon. Here, glucagon increases blood sugar levels when it drops, and insulin decreases the sugar levels upon elevation.

In people with diabetes, insulin production or secretion is usually compromised. In this case, when Glimepiride is given, it stimulates the beta cells in the pancreas to release insulin. The net effect is increasing insulin levels, thereby reducing high blood sugar.

Keeping blood sugar levels under control is crucial as it helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve damage, limb loss, and issues with sexual function.

Onset of Action:

Glimepiride is completely absorbed from the stomach when taken orally. Almost 100 % of the drug reaches the blood circulation and attains its maximum concentration in two to three hours. It is mainly excreted through urine and 40 % through feces.

The onset of action of Glimepiride is one hour after oral administration, and the effect lasts up to 24 hours.


Glimepiride is not reported to show any habit-forming tendencies in people taking the drug.

Expiry Date:

Do not take the medication's expiry date, which will be available on the back of the drug packet or the back strip of the medication.

What Is the Dosage of Glimepiride?

For type 2 diabetes, the dose of Glimepiride will be determined by the doctor based on the extent of control required to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Make sure to inform the physician how well the drug works and if any side effects are experienced.

Glimepiride is available in 1 mg, 2 mg, and 4 mg oral tablets.

The common dosing information is given below:


For the elderly and patients with kidney or liver diseases, usually, 1mg/day is given. The dose is adjusted after assessing the response.

How to Use Glimepiride?

Missed Dose:

While on therapy on Glimepiride, if a dose is missed, take it as soon as it is remembered. But if it is already time for the next dose, do not take two tablets together, as it might result in severe adverse reactions. Just skip the missed dose and take the next dosage.


If the drug is taken in the recommended amount and unwanted symptoms arise, seek medical help or contact the nearest poison control center immediately.

What Are the Contraindications of Glimepiride?

Glimepiride is contraindicated (use strictly to be avoided) in the following cases:

  • Allergy to Sulfonamide antibiotics or its derivatives.

  • Previous history of hypersensitivity to the drug or any of its components.

  • Type 1 diabetes (deficiency of insulin in children).

What Are the Drug Warnings and Precautions?

Notify the physician if having the following conditions:

  • Allergy: History of sensitivity to the active or inactive ingredients of the drug.

  • Heart Diseases: Glimepiride may increase the risk of heart-related adverse events. Drugs from a different antidiabetic class are preferred.

  • Low Sodium Levels: Inform the physician if the sodium levels are low before taking the medication.

  • Kidney Diseases: Caution is required for doses.

  • Liver Diseases: Dose adjustments may be required.

  • Sensitivity to Light: Glimepiride may increase the sensitivity toward light. Use sunscreens and avoid direct exposure to sunlight while on therapy.

  • Elderly Population: Use to be restricted as it may bring down blood sugar levels drastically for more extended periods.

  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Only take the medication if the doctor suggests it in case of pregnancy. Breastfeeding is not recommended while on Glimepiride as it passes through the breast milk and may adversely affect the baby.

What Are the Side Effects of Glimepiride?

The common side effects of the drug include

1. Low Blood Sugar: Symptoms include:

  • Changes in mood, such as irritability, anger, impatience, sadness, or stubbornness.

  • Confusion.

  • Headaches.

  • Fatigue.

  • Lack of coordination.

  • Tingling sensation in lips and tongue.

  • Blurred vision.

2. Low Platelet: Symptoms include:

  • Frequent infections.

  • Tiredness.

3. Low Sodium Levels: Symptoms include:

  • Nausea.

  • Vomiting.

  • Confusion.

  • Seizure.

  • Muscle weakness.

If these symptoms become severe or persistent, seek medical help immediately.

The serious side effects include

  • Hypersensitivity: Symptoms include swelling of the mouth or tongue, rashes, hives, and breathlessness.

  • Liver Damage: Symptoms include yellowing of skin or white eyes, dark-colored urine, and pale stools.

Serious side effects should be reported immediately to seek medical attention immediately.

What Are the Interactions of Glimepiride?

It is common for drugs to interact with other medications, food, beverages, or supplements. These interactions result in unwanted side effects. Hence, for effective therapy, the chances of reactions should be minimized.

The common interactions of Glimepiride are as follows:

1. With Other Drugs:

  • Aspirin.

  • Balofloxacin.

  • Besifloxacin.

  • Chloroquine.

  • Ciprofloxacin.

  • Desmopressin.

  • Disopyramide.

  • Dulaglutide.

  • Enoxacin.

  • Entacapone.

  • Fleroxacin.

  • Flumequine.

  • Gatifloxacin.

  • Gemifloxacin.

  • Hydroxychloroquine.

  • Isoniazid.

  • Lanreotide.

  • Levofloxacin.

  • Lixisenatide.

  • Lomefloxacin.

  • Metreleptin.

  • Miconazole.

  • Moxifloxacin.

  • Nadifloxacin.

  • Norfloxacin.

  • Octreotide.

  • Ofloxacin.

  • Pasireotide.

  • Pazufloxacin.

  • Pefloxacin.

  • Pioglitazone.

  • Porfimer.

  • Prulifloxacin.

  • Rufloxacin.

  • Sitagliptin.

  • Sparfloxacin.

  • Thioctic Acid.

  • Tosufloxacin.

  • Voriconazole.

This list does not include all the drug interactions of Glimepiride. Talk with the pharmacist or physician to check for the interaction of the supplements or other drugs used.

2. With Alcohol: Avoid consuming alcohol along with Glimepiride, as it can worsen the side effects of the medication.

3. With Food: The doctor will suggest a diabetic diet while taking this medication. Follow the instructions properly. Avoid consuming food that raises blood sugar levels, like simple carbohydrates.

Last reviewed at:
31 Jan 2023  -  6 min read




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