In principle, the dosage of Glimepiride is governed by the desired blood sugar level. The dosage of Glimepiride must be the lowest which is sufficient to achieve the desired metabolic control. The initial and the maintenance doses are set based on the results of regular check of glucose in blood and urine. Monitoring of glucose levels in blood and urine also serves to detect either primary or secondary failure of therapy.
Initial dose and dose titration: the usual initial dose is 1 mg once daily, if necessary, the daily dose can be increased. Any increase can be based on regular blood sugar monitoring, and should be gradual, i.e., at intervals of 1 to 2 weeks, and carried out stepwise, as follows: 1 mg -> 2 mg -> 3 mg -> 4 mg -> 6 mg.
Dose in patients with well controlled diabetes: the usual dose range in patients with well controlled diabetes is 1 to 4 mg daily.
Distribution of doses: Timing and distribution of doses are decided by the physician, in consideration of the patient’s current life-style. Normally, a single daily dose is sufficient. This should be taken immediately before a substantial breakfast or if none is taken immediately before the first main meal. It is very important not to skip meals after taking the drug.
Secondary dosage adjustment: As control of diabetes improves, sensitivity to insuiin increases; therefore, Glimepiride requirement may fall as treatment proceeds. To avoid hypoglycaemia, timely dose reduction or cessation of Glimepiride therapy must be considered. A dose adjustment must also be considered whenever the patient’s weight or life-styie changes, or other factors arise which cause an increased susceptibility to hypo or hyperglycaemia.
Changeover from other oral antidiabetics to Glimepiride: There is no exact dosage relationship between Glimepiride and other oral blood sugar lowering agents. When substituting Glimepiride for other such agents, the initial daily dose is 1 mg; this applies even in changeover from maximum dose of other oral blood sugar lowering agents. Any dose increase should be in accordance with guideline given above in ‘initial dose and dose titration’. Consideration must be given to the potency and duration of action of the previous blood sugar lowering agent. It may be necessary to interrupt treatment to avoid additive effects which would increase the risk of hypoglycaemia.