- 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:
Possible serious, but rare side effects of include:
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.
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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.
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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 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.
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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.
Type 1 vs. Type 2 Diabetes: 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.
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