- Type 2 Diabetes: Learn the Warning Signs
- Diabetes Friendly Dining
- Type 2 Diabetes: Test Your Medical IQ
- What is acarbose, and how does it work?
- 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 use 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.
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.
What 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:
Latest Diabetes News
Daily Health News
What is the treatment dosage for acarbose?
- The recommended initial dose for type 2 diabetes is 25 mg three times daily.
- The dose is then increased every four to eight weeks based on response and tolerance.
- The maximum dose is 50 mg three times daily for patients weighing 60 kg or less and 100 mg three times daily for those weighing more than 60 kg.
- This medication should be taken at the first bite of each meal.
- Smaller doses may be adequate for patients with severe kidney dysfunction or liver disease.
- This medication is not recommended if a patient has cirrhosis.
- Precose therapy is not advised in the presence of certain medical conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or intestinal obstruction and chronic intestinal diseases that interfere with digestion or absorption such as Crohn's disease.
- The doses of this type 2 diabetes medication should be adjusted based upon blood glucose levels taken one hour after a meal and blood HbA1c levels taken about three months after starting or changing the dose. (HbA1c is a chemical in the blood that is a good indicator of blood glucose control.)
Which drugs or supplements interact with acarbose?
- Acarbose may interfere with digoxin (Lanoxin) absorption thereby decreasing digoxin blood levels and its effect. Therefore, the digoxin dose may need to be increased if acarbose is begun.
- Since adding insulin or a sulfonylurea to acarbose therapy may lower blood glucose more than acarbose alone, the risk for developing hypoglycemia is greater when these drugs are combined. Caution should be used when combining these drugs. If mild to moderate hypoglycemia occurs while taking acarbose in combination with another anti-diabetic drug, the treatment for hypoglycemia is with with oral glucose (dextrose) instead of sucrose (table sugar) because acarbose blocks the digestion of sucrose to glucose, and hypoglycemia will not be corrected rapidly with sucrose. Acarbose alone does not produce hypoglycemia.
- Charcoal may absorb acarbose and digestive enzyme preparations such as amylase or pancreatin may breakdown acarbose and should not be administered. with this diabetes drug.
Is acarbose safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
What else should I know about acarbose?
What preparations are available?
- Tablets: 25, 50 and 100 mg.
How should I keep this drug stored?
- Precose should be stored at room temperature, 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F) in a tight container.
When was acarbose approved by the FDA?
- The FDA approved acarbose in September 1995.
Precose (acarbose) is a man-made oligosaccharide medication prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in conjunction with diet and exercise. It belongs to the class of drugs called alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, which also includes miglitol (Glyset). Drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Type 2 Diabetes: Test Your Medical IQ
What causes type 2 diabetes? Can it be prevented? Take this online quiz and challenge your knowledge of this common condition....
Type 1 Diabetes Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
What are the causes of type 1 diabetes? Take this quiz and challenge your knowledge of causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatments...
Diabetes Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take the Diabetes Quiz and learn the causes, signs, symptoms, and types of this growing epidemic. What does diabetes have to do...
How Diabetes Can Affect Your Feet
Learn more about diabetes related foot problems. For people with diabetes, too much glucose in the blood can cause serious foot...
Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis, Treatment, Medication
Learn about type 2 diabetes warning signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options. Read how diet and exercise can help manage...
Pictures of Famous People With Diabetes
See pictures of celebrities that have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes including Mary Tyler Moore, Salma Hayek, and...
Type 1 Diabetes: What Are The Symptoms?
What is type 1 diabetes? Is there a cure for type 1 diabetes? Learn about type 1 diabetes symptoms, warning signs, causes, and...
Diabetes Diet: Healthy Meal Plans for Diabetes-Friendly Eating
Discover the best and worst meals for diabetes-savvy dining. See how to avoid carbs and control your blood sugar with healthier...
Blood Sugar Swings: Tips for Managing Diabetes & Glucose Levels
Learn to better control your glucose levels by preventing blood sugar swings. Beware of caffeine, sugary foods, spices, exercise,...
Diabetes Management Tips and Preventing Complications
Learn 10 simple ways to better manage your diabetes. See tips for controlling blood sugar, diet and exercise and other helpful...
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Improve Diabetes Nerve Pain
Read about diabetic peripheral neuropathy and exercises to manage nerve pain. Learn how to cope with the symptoms of diabetic...
Pictures of 10 Muscle-Building Exercises for Diabetes
Watch this slideshow on Diabetes and Exercise. If you have diabetes, see how strengthening your muscles with these 10 weight...
Travel Tips for Better Diabetes Control
Traveling with diabetes can be intimidating, but it shouldn't stop you! Learn tips for packing your diabetic supplies, how to...
Diabetes Diet: 11 Low-Sugar Drink Ideas
Searching for low-sugar drink ideas? This pictures slideshow has eleven beverages ideal for people with diabetes and those...
Related Disease Conditions
Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are referred to as type 1 (insulin dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin dependent). Symptoms of diabetes include increased urine output, thirst, hunger, and fatigue. Treatment of diabetes depends on the type.
Tips for Managing Type 1 and 2 Diabetes at Home
Managing your diabetes is a full time commitment. The goal of diabetic therapy is to control blood glucose levels and prevent the complications of diabetes. Information about exercise, diet, and medication will help you manage your diabetes better. Blood glucose reagent strips, blood glucose meters, urine glucose tests, tests for urinary ketones, continuous glucose sensors, and Hemoglobin A1C testing information will enable you to mange your diabetes at home successfully.
Eye Problems and Diabetes
Diabetes and eye problems are generally caused by high blood sugar levels over an extended period of time. Types of eye problems in a person with diabetes include glaucoma, cataracts, and retinopathy. Examples of symptoms include blurred vision, headaches, eye aches, pain, halos around lights, loss of vision, watering eyes. Treatment for eye problems in people with diabetes depend on the type of eye problem. Prevention of eye problems include reducing blood pressure, cholesterol levels, quitting smoking, and maintaining proper blood glucose levels.
Diabetes and Foot Problems (Treatment)
Diabetes related foot problems can affect your health with two problems: diabetic neuropathy, where diabetes affects the nerves, and peripheral vascular disease, where diabetes affects the flow of blood. Common foot problems for people with diabetes include athlete's foot, fungal infection of nails, calluses, corns, blisters, bunions, dry skin, foot ulcers, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, and plantar warts.
Learning how to avoid gestational diabetes is possible and maintaining a healthy weight and diet before and during pregnancy can help. Discover risk factors, tests and treatments for, and signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that may be reversible with diet and lifestyle changes. Symptoms include excessive thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, fatigue, and an unusual odor to your urine. Most people don't know they have type 2 diabetes until they have a routine blood test. Treatment options include medications, a type 2 diabetes diet, and other lifestyle changes.
Type 2 Diabetes Medications (Side Effects, Differences)
Type 2 diabetes oral medications are prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes in conjuction with lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. There are nine classes of drugs approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Examples of type 2 oral diabetes medications include acarbose (Precose), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL), and metformin (Glucophage). Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, dosage, and breastfeeding and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
How to Prevent Diabetes Naturally
Prediabetes is a condition in which a person has early symptoms of diabetes, but has not yet fully developed the condition. If prediabetes is not treated with lifestyle changes, the person could develop type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes can be prevented with lifestyle changes, for example, eating a healthy diet, getting more exercise, reducing stress, quitting smoking, reducing or managing blood pressure and cholesterol, and managing any other health conditions or risk factors that you may have for developing type 2 diabetes.
A diabetic diet, or diabetes diet helps keep blood glucose levels in the target range for patients. Exercise and medication may also help stabilize blood glucose levels. Keeping track of when you take your diabetic medicine, keeping track of food choices, eating the proper amount of fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and fats will also help maintain proper blood glucose levels. Foods that raise blood sugar levels are "high glycemic index foods;" examples include: Pumpkin Melons Popcorn Short-grain white rice Foods that help maintain good blood sugar levels are foods that are low on the glycemic index, for example: Rolled or steel-cut oats Many fruits Non-starchy vegetables Beans Legumes Lentils
Sex, Urinary, and Bladder Problems of Diabetes
Having diabetes can mean early onset and increased severity of bladder symptoms (urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections) and changes in sexual function. Men may have erectile dysfunction; and women may have problems with sexual response and vaginal lubrication. Keep your diabetes under control, and you can lower your risk of sexual and urologic problems.
Diabetes Treatment (Type 1 and Type 2 Medications and Diet)
The major goal in treating diabetes is controlling elevated blood sugar without causing abnormally low levels of blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes is treated with: insulin, exercise, and a diabetic diet. Type 2 diabetes is first treated with: weight reduction, a diabetic diet, and exercise. When these measures fail to control the elevated blood sugar, oral medications are used. If oral medications are still insufficient, insulin medications are considered.
Diabetes and Kidney Disease
In the United States diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. High blood pressure and high levels of blood glucose increase the risk that a person with diabetes will eventually progress to kidney failure. Kidney disease in people with diabetes develops over the course of many years. albumin and eGFR are two key markers for kidney disease in people with diabetes. Controlling high blood pressure, blood pressure medications, a moderate protein diet, and compliant management of blood glucose can slow the progression of kidney disease. For those patients who's kidneys eventually fail, dialysis or kidney transplantation is the only option.
Diabetes: Caring for Your Diabetes at Special Times
Taking care of a disease such as diabetes is a life-long process. Learn how to care for yourself or loved one with diabetes in situations such as illness, work, school, travel, or a natural disaster.
Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan
A type 2 diabetes diet or a type 2 diabetic diet is important for blood sugar (glucose) control in people with diabetes to prevent complications of diabetes. There are a variety of type 2 diabetes diet eating plans such as the Mediterranean diet, Paleo diet, ADA Diabetes Diet, and vegetarian diets.Learn about low and high glycemic index foods, what foods to eat, and what foods to avoid if you have type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 vs Type 2 Diabetes (Similarities and Differences)
Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic condition in which a person's blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high. Over 29.1 million children and adults in the US have diabetes. Of that, 8.1 million people have diabetes and don't even know it. Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent, juvenile) is caused by a problem with insulin production by the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent) is caused by: Eating a lot of foods and drinking beverages with simple carbohydrates (pizza, white breads, pastas, cereals, pastries, etc.) and simple sugars (donuts, candy, etc.) Consuming too many products with artificial sweeteners (We found out that they are bad for us!) Lack of activity Exercise Stress Genetics While the signs and symptoms of both types of diabetes are the same, which include: Increased urination Increased hunger Increased thirst Unexplained weight loss. However, the treatments are different. Type 1 diabetes is insulin dependent, which means a person with this type of diabetes requires treatment with insulin. People with type 2 diabetes require medication, lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Diabetes FAQs
- Type 2 Diabetes FAQs
- Type 1 Diabetes FAQs
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Prescriptions: Complying with the Doctor's Orders
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.