Glimepiride (Page 2 of 6)

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice. Approximately 2,800 patients with type 2 diabetes have been treated with glimepiride in the controlled clinical trials. In these trials, approximately 1,700 patients were treated with glimepiride for at least 1 year.In clinical trials, the most common adverse reactions with glimepiride were hypoglycemia, dizziness, asthenia, headache, and nausea.

Table 1 summarizes adverse events, other than hypoglycemia, that were reported in 11 pooled placebo-controlled trials, whether or not considered to be possibly or probably related to study medication. Treatment duration ranged from 13 weeks to 12 months. Terms that are reported represent those that occurred at an incidence of ≥5% among glimepiride-treated patients and more commonly than in patients who received placebo.

Table 1: Eleven Pooled Placebo-Controlled Trials ranging from 13 weeks to 12 months: Adverse Events (excluding hypoglycemia) Occurring in ≥5% of glimepiride-treated Patients and at a Greater Incidence than with Placebo*
Glimepiride Placebo
N=745 N=294
% %
Headache 8.2 7.8
Accidental Injury 5.8 3.4
Flu Syndrome 5.4 4.4
Nausea 5.0 3.4
Dizziness 5.0 2.4
* Glimepiride doses ranged from 1 to 16 mg administered daily †Insufficient information to determine whether any of the accidental injury events were associated with hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia:

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled monotherapy trial of 14 weeks duration, patients already on sulfonylurea therapy underwent a 3-week washout period then were randomized to glimepiride 1 mg, 4 mg, 8 mg or placebo. Patients randomized to glimepiride 4 mg or 8 mg underwent forced-titration from an initial dose of 1 mg to these final doses, as tolerated [see Clinical Studies ( 14.1)]. The overall incidence of possible hypoglycemia (defined by the presence of at least one symptom that the investigator believed might be related to hypoglycemia; a concurrent glucose measurement was not required) was 4% for glimepiride 1 mg, 17% for glimepiride 4 mg, 16% for glimepiride 8 mg and 0% for placebo. All of these events were self-treated.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled monotherapy trial of 22 weeks duration, patients received a starting dose of either 1 mg glimepiride or placebo daily. The dose of glimepiride was titrated to a target fasting plasma glucose of 90 to 150 mg/dL. Final daily doses of glimepiride were 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, or 8 mg [see Clinical Studies ( 14.1)]. The overall incidence of possible hypoglycemia (as defined above for the 14-week trial) for glimepiride vs. placebo was 19.7% vs. 3.2%. All of these events were self-treated.

Weight gain: glimepiride, like all sulfonylureas, can cause weight gain [see Clinical Studies ( 14.1)].

Allergic Reactions: In clinical trials, allergic reactions, such as pruritus, erythema, urticaria, and morbilliform or maculopapular eruptions, occurred in less than 1% of glimepiride- treated patients. These may resolve despite continued treatment with glimepiride. There are postmarketing reports of more serious allergic reactions (e.g., dyspnea, hypotension, shock) [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.2)].

Laboratory Tests Elevated serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT): In 11 pooled placebo-controlled trials of glimepiride, 1.9% of glimepiride-treated patients and 0.8% of placebo-treated patients developed serum ALT greater than 2 times the upper limit of the reference range.

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

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
  • Dysgeusia
  • Alopecia

7 DRUG INTERACTIONS

7.1 Drugs Affecting Glucose Metabolism

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.

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