Good News For Type 2’s: Amaryl Is Available

For the majority of Americans who suffer from type 2 diabetes, a new sulfonylurea drug, Amaryl (glimepiride tablets) may be an exciting option. Recently approved by the FDA, is the only drug of its kind indicated for use either on its own or with insulin, although the combined use may increase the potential for hypoglycemia. Amaryl binds to a different insulin receptor site than other sulfonylureas to provide sustained glucose control.

According to Jill Schneider, MD, “Amaryl is indicated as first line therapy to lower blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes whose blood glucose cannot be controlled by diet or exercise alone.”

Doctors will prescribe doses of Amaryl at one to four milligrams daily. According to the manufacturer, Hoechst Marion Roussel, studies have shown that the drug is significantly absorbed from the GI tract within one hour of ingestion. Amaryl performed well in clinical studies among a variety of patients, including obese and hypersensitive subjects. Hoechst Marion Roussel claims Amaryl provides faster glucose stabilization than glipizide and safer stabilization than glyburide.

It is important for people taking Amaryl to follow a regimen of diet and exercise. According to company literature, “Loss of blood glucose control on diet and exercise alone may be transient, thus requiring only short-term administration of Amaryl.” Though all sulfonylurea drugs can cause low blood sugar, doctors found Amaryl to be the least likely to cause hypoglycemia.

People who should not take the drug are those with a known hypersensitivity to Amaryl, or those with ketoacidosis.

Amaryl is one of the first products to receive FDA clearance for the newly formed Hoechst Marion Roussel, the global pharmaceutical division of Hoechst AG in Frankfurt, Germany.

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