The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of glimepiride. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
- Serious hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, angioedema, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
- Hemolytic anemia in patients with and without G6PD deficiency [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]
- Impairment of liver function (e.g., with cholestasis and jaundice), as well as hepatitis, which may progress to liver failure
- Porphyria cutanea tarda, photosensitivity reactions and allergic vasculitis
- Leukopenia, agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia, and pancytopenia
- Thrombocytopenia (including severe cases with platelet count less than 10,000/µL) and thrombocytopenic purpura
- Hepatic porphyria reactions and disulfiram-like reactions
- Hyponatremia and syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH), most often in patients who are on other medications or who have medical conditions known to cause hyponatremia or increase release of antidiuretic hormone
A number of medications affect glucose metabolism and may require glimepiride dose adjustment and particularly close monitoring for hypoglycemia or worsening glycemic control.
The following are examples of medications that may increase the glucose-lowering effect of sulfonylureas including glimepiride, increasing the susceptibility to and/or intensity of hypoglycemia: oral anti-diabetic medications, pramlintide acetate, insulin, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, H2 receptor antagonists, fibrates, propoxyphene, pentoxifylline, somatostatin analogs, anabolic steroids and androgens, cyclophosphamide, phenyramidol, guanethidine, fluconazole, sulfinpyrazone, tetracyclines, clarithromycin, disopyramide, quinolones, and those drugs that are highly protein-bound, such as fluoxetine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, salicylates, sulfonamides, chloramphenicol, coumarins, probenecid and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. When these medications are administered to a patient receiving glimepiride, monitor the patient closely for hypoglycemia. When these medications are withdrawn from a patient receiving glimepiride, monitor the patient closely for worsening glycemic control.
The following are examples of medications that may reduce the glucose-lowering effect of sulfonylureas including glimepiride, leading to worsening glycemic control: danazol, glucagon, somatropin, protease inhibitors, atypical antipsychotic medications (e.g., olanzapine and clozapine), barbiturates, diazoxide, laxatives, rifampin, thiazides and other diuretics, corticosteroids, phenothiazines, thyroid hormones, estrogens, oral contraceptives, phenytoin, nicotinic acid, sympathomimetics (e.g., epinephrine, albuterol, terbutaline), and isoniazid. When these medications are administered to a patient receiving glimepiride, monitor the patient closely for worsening glycemic control. When these medications are withdrawn from a patient receiving glimepiride, monitor the patient closely for hypoglycemia.
Beta-blockers, clonidine, and reserpine may lead to either potentiation or weakening of glimepiride’s glucose-lowering effect.
Both acute and chronic alcohol intake may potentiate or weaken the glucose-lowering action of glimepiride in an unpredictable fashion.The signs of hypoglycemia may be reduced or absent in patients taking sympatholytic drugs such as beta-blockers, clonidine, guanethidine, and reserpine.
A potential interaction between oral miconazole and sulfonylureas leading to severe hypoglycemia has been reported. Whether this interaction also occurs with other dosage forms of miconazole is not known.
There may be an interaction between glimepiride and inhibitors (e.g., fluconazole) and inducers (e.g., rifampin) of cytochrome P450 2C9. Fluconazole may inhibit the metabolism of glimepiride, causing increased plasma concentrations of glimepiride which may lead to hypoglycemia. Rifampin may induce the metabolism of glimepiride, causing decreased plasma concentrations of glimepiride which may lead to worsening glycemic control.
Colesevelam can reduce the maximum plasma concentration and total exposure of glimepiride when the two are coadministered. However, absorption is not reduced when glimepiride is administered 4 hours prior to colesevelam. Therefore, glimepiride should be administered at least 4 hours prior to colesevelam.
Available data from a small number of published studies and postmarketing experience with glimepiride use in pregnancy over decades have not identified any drug associated risks for major birth defects, miscarriage, or adverse maternal outcomes. However, sulfonylureas (including glimepiride) cross the placenta and have been associated with neonatal adverse reactions such as hypoglycemia. Therefore, glimepiride should be discontinued at least two weeks before expected delivery (see Clinical Considerations). Poorly controlled diabetes in pregnancy is also associated with risks to the mother and fetus (see Clinical Considerations). In animal studies (see Data) , there were no effects on embryo-fetal development following administration of glimepiride to pregnant rats and rabbits at oral doses approximately 4000 times and 60 times the maximum human dose based on body surface area, respectively. However, fetotoxicity was observed in rats and rabbits at doses 50 times and 0.1 times the maximum human dose, respectively.
The estimated background risk of major birth defects is 6% to 10% in women with pre-gestational diabetes with a HbA1c >7% and has been reported to be as high as 20% to 25% in women with a HbA1c >10%. The estimated background risk of miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively.
Disease-associated maternal and/or embryo-fetal risk
Poorly controlled diabetes in pregnancy increases the maternal risk for diabetic ketoacidosis, preeclampsia, spontaneous abortions, preterm delivery, and delivery complications. Poorly controlled diabetes increases the fetal risk for major birth defects, still birth, and macrosomia-related morbidity.
Fetal/neonatal adverse reactions
Neonates of women with gestational diabetes who are treated with sulfonylureas during pregnancy may be at increased risk for neonatal intensive care admission and may develop respiratory distress, hypoglycemia, birth injury, and be large for gestational age. Prolonged severe hypoglycemia, lasting 4 to 10 days, has been reported in neonates born to mothers receiving a sulfonylurea at the time of delivery and has been reported with the use of agents with a prolonged half-life. Observe newborns for symptoms of hypoglycemia and respiratory distress and manage accordingly.
Dose adjustments during pregnancy and the postpartum period
Due to reports of prolonged severe hypoglycemia in neonates born to mothers receiving a sulfonylurea at the time of delivery, glimepiride should be discontinued at least two weeks before expected delivery (see Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions).
In animal studies, there was no increase in congenital anomalies, but an increase in fetal deaths occurred in rats and rabbits at glimepiride doses 50 times (rats) and 0.1 times (rabbits) the maximum recommended human dose (based on body surface area). This fetotoxicity was observed only at doses inducing maternal hypoglycemia and is believed to be directly related to the pharmacologic (hypoglycemic) action of glimepiride, as has been similarly noted with other sulfonylureas.
Breastfed infants of lactating women using glimepiride should be monitored for symptoms of hypoglycemia (see Clinical Considerations). It is not known whether glimepiride is excreted in human milk and there are no data on the effects of glimepiride on milk production. Glimepiride is present in rat milk [see Data]. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for glimepiride and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child from glimepiride or from the underlying maternal condition.
Monitoring for adverse reactions
Monitor breastfed infants for signs of hypoglycemia (e.g., jitters, cyanosis, apnea, hypothermia, excessive sleepiness, poor feeding, seizures).
During prenatal and postnatal studies in rats, significant concentrations of glimepiride were present in breast milk and the serum of the pups. Offspring of rats exposed to high levels of glimepiride during pregnancy and lactation developed skeletal deformities consisting of shortening, thickening, and bending of the humerus during the postnatal period. These skeletal deformations were determined to be the result of nursing from mothers exposed to glimepiride.
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