Glimepiride is an oral blood sugar-lowering drug in a class of medicines for controlling diabetes called sulfonylureas. Glimepiride is related to other sulfonylureas including glyburide (Micronase; Diabeta), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase) and tolazamide (Tolinase).
Glimepiride is used in type II diabetes, the most common type of diabetes that is found in 90% of patients with diabetes. In type II diabetes, insulin usually is not necessary to control the blood sugar. Instead, diet and oral medications often are sufficient. Intolerance to sugar that results in elevated blood sugar is caused by reduced insulin secretion by the pancreas and resistance to insulin's effects by the body's cells. Glimepiride lowers the sugar level in the blood by stimulating insulin to be secreted from the pancreas into the blood. Insulin causes sugar to leave the blood and enter cells throughout the body.
Glimepiride is in a class of drugs called sulfonylureas. It is used to help control blood sugar levels. Glimepiride is used with diet and exercise to treat noninsulin-dependent (Type II) diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Insulin or metformin (Glucophage) may also be used in combination with glimepiride, if necessary.