- What is acarbose, and how does it work?
- What brand names are available for acarbose?
- Is acarbose available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for acarbose?
- What are the uses for acarbose?
- What are the side effects of acarbose?
- What is the treatment dosage for acarbose?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with acarbose?
- Is acarbose safe to take during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about acarbose?
What is acarbose, and how does it work?
- Acarbose is a prescription oral drug that is used to control blood glucose (sugar) levels in people type 2 diabetes in conjunction with diet, exercise, and other diabetes drugs, for example, metformin (Glucophage) or insulin. It belongs to a class of drugs called alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, which also includes miglitol (Glyset).
- Carbohydrates that are eaten are digested by enzymes in the intestine into smaller sugars which are absorbed into the body and increase blood sugar levels. The process of carbohydrate digestion requires the pancreas to release into the intestine alpha-amylase enzymes, which digest the large carbohydrates into smaller carbohydrates called oligosaccharides. The cells lining the small intestine then release alpha-glucosidase enzymes that further digest the oligosaccharides into smaller sugars, like glucose, that can be absorbed. Acarbose is a man-made oligosaccharide designed to slow down the actions of alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase enzymes, thereby slowing the appearance of sugar in the blood after a meal.
What brand names are available for acarbose?
- Precose is the brand name available for acarbose.
IIs acarbose available as a generic drug?
- Yes. This diabetes drug is available as generic, and is as an oral tablet.
Do I need a prescription for acarbose?
- Yes. A prescription is necessary to obtain this diabetes drug.
What are the uses for acarbose?
- The preparation for Precose is an oral tablet medication used in conjunction with diet and exercise for reducing blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes.
- Precose can be used alone in the treatment type 2 diabetes or can be combined with sulfonylureas such as glyburide (Diabeta) or metformin (Glucophage) or with insulin.
WWhat are the side effects of acarbose?
The most common side effects of include:
There is a rare possibility that these gastrointestinal side effects may become severe and progress to intestinal obstruction caused by paralysis of the intestinal muscles (paralytic ileus).
Possible serious, but rare side effects of include:
- Decreases in hematocrit, calcium or vitamin B6 levels
- Liver failure
- A reduction in the number of platelets (thrombocytopenia)
- Severe skin reactions (rash, erythema, exantherma, and hives [urticaria])
- Pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis infection
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