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Related to acarbose: metformin, Glucobay, Miglitol


an α-glucosidase inhibitor used to combat hyperglycemia in treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.


Glucobay (UK), Prandase (CA), Precose

Pharmacologic class: Alpha-glucosidase inhibitor

Therapeutic class: Hypoglycemic

Pregnancy risk category B


Improves blood glucose control by slowing carbohydrate digestion in intestine and prolonging conversion of carbohydrates to glucose


Tablets: 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg

Indications and dosages

Treatment of type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus when diet alone doesn't control blood glucose

Adults: Initially, 25 mg P.O. t.i.d. Increase q 4 to 8 weeks as needed until maintenance dosage is reached. Maximum dosage is 100 mg P.O. t.i.d. for adults weighing more than 60 kg (132 lb); 50 mg P.O. t.i.d. for adults weighing 60 kg or less.


• Hypersensitivity to drug
• Renal dysfunction
• Type 1 diabetes mellitus, diabetic ketoacidosis
• GI disease
• Cirrhosis
• Colonic ulcers
• Inflammatory bowel disease
• Intestinal obstruction
• Pregnancy or breastfeeding


Use cautiously in:
• patients receiving concurrent hypoglycemic drugs
• children.


• Give with first bite of patient's three main meals.
• Know that drug prevents breakdown of table sugar (sucrose). Thus, mild hypoglycemia must be corrected with oral glucose (such as D-glucose or dextrose), and severe hypoglycemia may warrant I.V. glucose or glucagon injection.
• Be aware that drug may be used alone or in combination with insulin, metformin, or sulfonylureas (such as glipizide, glyburide, or glimepiride).

Adverse reactions

GI: diarrhea, abdominal pain, flatulence

Metabolic: hypoglycemia (when used with insulin or sulfonylureas)

Other: edema, hypersensitivity reaction (rash)


Drug-drug.Activated charcoal, calcium channel blockers, corticosteroids, digestive enzymes, diuretics, estrogen, hormonal contraceptives, isoniazid, nicotinic acid, phenothiazines, phenytoin, sympathomimetics, thyroid products: decreased therapeutic effect of acarbose

Digoxin: decreased digoxin blood level and reduced therapeutic effect Insulin, sulfonylureas: hypoglycemia

Drug-diagnostic tests.Alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase: increased levels

Calcium, vitamin B6: decreased levels

Hematocrit: decreased

Patient monitoring

• Monitor patient for hypoglycemia if he's taking drug concurrently with insulin or sulfonylureas.
• Stay alert for hyperglycemia during periods of increased stress.
• Assess GI signs and symptoms to differentiate drug effects from those caused by paralytic ileus.
• Check 1-hour postprandial glucose level to gauge drug's efficacy.
• Monitor liver function test results. Report abnormalities so that dosage adjustments may be made as needed.

Patient teaching

• Inform patient that drug may cause serious interactions with many common medications, so he should tell all prescribers he's taking it.
• Teach patient about other ways to control blood glucose level, such as recommendations regarding diet, exercise, weight reduction, and stress management.
• Stress importance of testing urine and blood glucose regularly.
• Teach patient about signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia. Tell him that although this drug doesn't cause hypoglycemia when used alone, hypoglycemic symptoms may arise if he takes it with other hypoglycemics.
• Urge patient to keep oral glucose on hand to correct mild hypoglycemia; inform him that sugar in candy won't correct hypoglycemia.
• Inform patient that GI symptoms such as flatulence may result from delayed carbohydrate digestion in intestine.
• Advise patient to obtain medical alert identification and to carry or wear it at all times.
• As appropriate, review all other significant and life-threatening adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs and tests mentioned above.


/acar·bose/ (a´kahr-bōs) an α inhibitor used in treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.


A drug, C25H43NO18, that reduces blood glucose levels by inhibiting the breakdown of complex carbohydrates in the intestine and is used to treat type 2 diabetes.


an insulin-control drug.
indications It is prescribed in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus; it slows the digestion of complex carbohydrates and reduces the demand for insulin. The drug is indicated for use with dietary modifications or other medications that treat diabetes in patients whose hyperglycemia is not sufficiently controlled by diet alone.
contraindications It should not be used by patients with diabetic ketoacidosis or intestinal diseases that may impair digestion or absorption. Caution is advised for use in patients with renal dysfunction.
adverse effects The side effects most often reported include flatulence, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Increased transaminase levels have been reported in patients taking high doses.


An oral hypoglycaemic drug. A brand name is Glucobay.


adjunct treatment to oral hypoglycaemic agents in type 2 diabetes mellitus and to prevent postprandial hypoglycaemia in type 1 diabeties; delays carbohydrate digestion and absorption


n brand name: Precose, Prandase;
drug class: oligosaccharide, glucosidase enzyme inhibitor;
action: inhibits α-glucosidase enzyme in the GI tract to slow the breakdown of carbohydrates to glucose;
uses: a single drug or in combination with others when diet control is ineffective in controlling blood glucose levels such as with type 2 diabetes mellitus.


an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor which reduces postprandial hyperglycemia. It has been used in the management of diabetes mellitus.
References in periodicals archive ?
In this study, we hypothesised that acarbose affects the composition of the ruminal bacterial community and that it decreases the concentration of LPS in the rumen.
Effectiveness of acarbose in the control of glucose tolerance worsening in pregnancy.
The strongest evidence that glycemic index matters comes from the acarbose trial.
Safety and Tolerability of Acarbose in the Treatment of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors: Acarbose inhibits the digestion of carbohydrates in the gastrointestinal tract, thus slowing glucose absorption and preventing sharp increases in PGC after meats.
15) In the STOP-NIDDM trial acarbose compared with placebo decreased the development of diabetes by 30% after 3.
The two alpha-glucosidase inhibitors acarbose (Precose) and miglitol (Glyset) delay the digestion of carbohydrates within the gastrointestinal tract, thereby reducing the rise in blood glucose following meals.
Acarbose (Precose[R]) and miglitol (Glyset[R]) slow carbohydrate absorption in the small intestine, thereby giving the pancreas time to secrete sufficient insulin to moderate postprandial blood glucose levels.
Most other medications, except Metformin and Acarbose, have been associated with weight gain.
Clinical, endocrine and metabolic effects of acarbose, an a-glucosidase inhibitor, in PCOS patients with increased insulin response and normal glucose tolerance.
The PDDs for some of the oral antidiabetic medicines were below the recommended minimum daily dosages, that is acarbose 50mg (141.
Diabetes risk decreased by as much as 77% in patients who took the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine for more than 4 years, "a finding that is comparable or superior to that of other drugs studied in clinical trials: rosiglitazone, combination hormone therapy, estrogen [only], metformin, acarbose, and ramipril," the study researchers reported.