12 Foods To Eat & Avoid While Taking Glimepiride (Amaryl)

Glimepiride, sold under the brand name Amaryl, is a prescription-only medication used to treat hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) that results from type 2 diabetes. 

Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the body does not produce enough insulin or does not respond to it as it should. 

Glimepiride helps to lower blood sugar by stimulating the pancreas to produce insulin. It also helps the body to use insulin more effectively. 

It may be used alone or in combination with other diabetic medications like metformin and insulin. 

Glimepiride is not used on its own for the treatment of type 1 diabetes because, in this case, the body cannot produce insulin at all – making glimepiride ineffective. 

If you are on glimepiride, there are some food-drug interactions you should be aware of to ensure that you are getting the best out of the drug and not putting yourself in harm’s way. 

In this article, we discuss these interactions, tell you what foods to eat and avoid while taking glimepiride (Amaryl), and give you some general information on how to use the drug safely. 

7 foods to avoid while taking Glimepiride (Amaryl)

Taking glimepiride with certain foods can increase your risk of getting side effects, particularly low blood sugar. 

Here is a list of foods and drinks to avoid when taking glimepiride and why:

1) Coffee and caffeinated beverages

If you are diabetic and using glimepiride, it may be best to stay away from coffee and caffeine because it may increase your blood sugar and counter the effects of glimepiride. 

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2) Guar gum

This is a food additive that is used as a thickener in many processed foods. It is made from guar beans. 

Studies have shown that guar gum can decrease the absorption of sugar and thereby lead to a decrease in blood sugar

Taking it with glimepiride may further decrease blood sugar levels and cause hypoglycemia. 

Some foods that commonly contain guar gum include:

  • Yogurt 
  • Ice cream
  • Sauces
  • Soups
  • Gravy 
  • Salad dressing
  • Cheese
  • Pudding 
  • Breakfast cereals

3) Bitter gourd

Also called bitter melon, this is a fruit that is commonly used in Asian cuisine. It is commonly used to treat diabetes by indigenous tribes because of its blood sugar-lowering properties

Using bitter gourd along with glimepiride may considerably lower blood sugar and cause hypoglycemia.


4) Glucomannan

Obtained from the roots of the elephant yam, glucomannan is a natural water-soluble fiber that is used as a food additive in some drinks, pasta, and flour. It is also kown as Konjac. 

Studies have shown that glucomannan can reduce blood sugar, probably due to its ability to slow down the absorption of glucose from the gut. 

As such, when glucomannan is taken along with glimepiride, it may increase the risk of hypoglycemia.

5) Fenugreek seeds

Like glucomannan, these are packed with fiber. Studies have shown that fenugreek may help to lower blood sugar levels by reducing the absorption of glucose from the gut. 

If you take fenugreek with glimepiride, it may cause your blood glucose levels to drop to dangerously low levels.


6) Certain herbs

Herbs like ginseng and psyllium can lower blood levels and may lead to serious drops in blood glucose when taken along with glimepiride. 

7) Alcohol

Excessive alcohol consumption is discouraged in diabetics, especially if blood sugar is not well controlled or you have pancreatitis

Alcohol can affect blood sugar metabolism and cause your sugar levels to increase or decrease. 

So, taking large quantities of alcohol with glimepiride could significantly lower your blood sugar levels or cause your blood sugar level to rise and thereby decrease the efficacy of the drug. 

Either way, the possible effects are undesirable. It is best to limit your alcohol intake to one or two drinks a day. 

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5 foods to eat when on Glimepiride

If you have diabetes, you need to pay attention to your diet and make the right food choices. This is even more important when you are taking glimepiride because the drug should be used in the context of a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle habits

Your blood sugar level is determined by the amount and type of carbohydrates you consume. The more simple carbohydrates you eat, the higher your sugar level, and vice versa. 

As a general rule, diabetics should eat healthy foods from all the major classes of foods. These include:

  1. Whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat, oats, quinoa, barley, etc.
  2. Proteins such as chicken, eggs, fish, lean meat, beans, lentils, nuts, etc. 
  3. Low-fat dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. 
  4. Fruits
  5. Vegetables 

Your dietician may need to put you on a diet plan that suits your condition. Consult your healthcare provider about the appropriate diet for you when you start taking glimepiride. 

Foods to avoidFoods to eat
Coffee and caffeineWhole grains
Guar gumProtein
Bitter gourdLow-fat dairy
Fenugreek seedsVeggies
Certain herbs

Drug interactions with Glimepiride

In addition to food interactions, glimepiride can have undesirable interactions with certain medications. Inform your doctor if you are taking glimepiride with any other medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter drugs. 

They may change the dose of one or both of the medications. They may alter the frequency with which you take one or both of them. Or, they may have to completely change the medication to another one. 

Here is a list of some drugs that can have interactions with glimepiride:

  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Aspirin
  • Acetaminophen
  • Chloroquine 
  • Labetalol
  • Isoniazid
  • Ofloxacin
  • Methotrexate
  • Desmopressin
  • Entacapone
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Miconazole
  • Phenobarbital 

The list goes on and on. Always be sure to consult your healthcare provider before taking two or more drugs together, including herbal medications. 

You may also be allergic to glimepiride or any of the ingredients added to it. You can ask your healthcare provider about the ingredients in the medicine. 

Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: 

  • Swelling of the lips, mouth, throat, or tongue
  • Trouble breathing and swallowing
  • Skin rash 

An allergic reaction can be severe enough to cause death. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience the above symptoms after taking glimepiride. 

If you are sick or have a medical condition, tell your doctor before you start taking glimepiride. The presence of some medical conditions may affect how you use this drug.

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Should you take Glimepiride with food?

Yes, because of its potential to cause hypoglycemia, it is best to take glimepiride with your heaviest meal of the day. 

Glimepiride is available in tablet form and is usually taken once daily. It is advisable to take the medication around the same time each day. 

Make sure to take glimepiride only as prescribed by your doctor.

Potential adverse effects of Glimepiride

Eating certain foods while taking glimepiride can increase your likelihood of experiencing side effects. Some of these side effects include: 

  • Nausea
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Blurred vision
  • Hunger
  • Chills
  • Stomach pain
  • Weakness 
  • Lower back pain
  • Agitation
  • Nightmares

Some side effects may be fatal and require immediate medical attention. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately: 

  • Abnormal bruising or bleeding
  • Confusion 
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Dark urine
  • Light-colored (pale) stools
  • Decrease in urine output
  • Seizures
  • Severe itching
  • Stomach pain (upper right side of your stomach)
  • Depression
  • Coma 

Another possible side effect of glimepiride is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Hypoglycemia can be life-threatening if it is not corrected immediately. 

Common symptoms of hypoglycemia include:

  • Feeling shaky
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating/chills
  • Weakness 
  • Hunger
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness in severe cases

If you start experiencing the above symptoms, you should eat 15g of any fast-acting sugar immediately. This could be half a glass of fruit juice, three or four candies, half a can of soda, or four tablets of sugar. Follow this up with a carb-rich meal and closely monitor your blood sugar level afterward. 

Be sure to inform your doctor if you experience an episode of hypoglycemia. This is important because you need to discuss what may have triggered it and possibly adjust the dose of your medication.   

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Glimepiride is a medication used for the treatment of high blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes. You should take glimepiride with your heaviest meal of the day. 

However, the type of food you eat can react with the drug and increase the risk of side effects or reduce the drug’s efficacy. 

A decrease in blood sugar levels is one of the most common side effects that people may experience when they combine glimepiride with the wrong types of foods. 

Examples of foods to avoid while taking glimepiride include guar gum, fenugreek, bitter gourd, coffee, and alcohol. Herbs and certain drugs can also interact with the drug and cause unwanted effects. 

If you have any questions about glimepiride interactions, be sure to consult your doctor.

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