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July 24, 2001

Pills for Diabetes

Question from Basildon, Essex, England:

I am 36 years old, have had type 1 diabetes since the age of three, and my doctor has prescribed Amaryl (glimepiride) tablets to be taken with insulin. I have found that Amaryl is for type 2 diabetes and not type 1. Do other people with type 1 diabetes use Amaryl? Is it safe for type 1 diabetes?

Answer:

It is my opinion that there is very little benefit to having Amaryl [glimepiride] added to insulin for patients with type 1 diabetes. Sometimes, oral agents are added to insulin in patients with type 1 diabetes in order to improve the body’s sensitivity to the administered insulin. Since Amaryl stimulates the body to make insulin, and since patients with type 1 diabetes for over thirty years are unlikely to be able to make insulin, I would anticipate little benefit. There is probably minimal risk as long as enough insulin is being administered. I would discuss this with your physician.

JTL