Symptoms: After ingestion of an overdosage hypoglycaemia may occur, lasting from 12 to 72 hours, and may recur after an initial recovery. Symptoms may not be present for up to 24 hours after ingestion. In general observation in hospital is recommended. Nausea, vomiting and epigastric pain may occur. The hypoglycaemia may in general be accompanied by neurological symptoms like restlessness, tremor, visual disturbances, co-ordination problems, sleepiness, coma and convulsions.
Management: Treatment primarily consists of preventing absorption by inducing vomiting and then drinking water or lemonade with activated charcoal (adsorbent) and sodium-sulphate (laxative). If large quantities have been ingested gastric lavage is indicated, followed by activated charcoal and sodium-sulphate. In case of (severe) overdosage hospitalisation in an intensive care department is indicated. Start the administration of glucose as soon as possible, if necessary by a bolus intravenous injection of 50 ml of a 50% solution, followed by an infusion of a 10% solution with strict monitoring of blood glucose. Further treatment should be symptomatic.
In particular when treating hypoglycaemia due to accidental intake of glimepiride in infants and young children, the dose of glucose given must be carefully controlled to avoid the possibility of producing dangerous hyperglycaemia. Blood glucose should be closely monitored.