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- Type 2 Diabetes: Test Your Medical IQ
- What is acarbose, and how does it work?
- What brand names are available for acarbose?
- IIs acarbose available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for acarbose?
- What are the uses for acarbose?
- WWhat are the side effects of acarbose?
- WWhat is the treatment dosage for acarbose?
- WWhich drugs or supplements interact with acarbose?
- Is acarbose safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- WWhat 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.
Quick GuideDiabetes Diet: Healthy Meal Plans for Diabetes-Friendly Eating
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:
WWhat 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.)
WWhich 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?
WWhat 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.
WWhen was acarbose approved by the FDA?
- The FDA approved acarbose in September 1995.
Quick GuideDiabetes Diet: Healthy Meal Plans for Diabetes-Friendly Eating
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).
Common side effects include:
There are possible rare, but serious side effects of Precose that may include:
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Top acarbose Related Articles
antidiabetics-oralType 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.
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Diabetes and Eye ProblemsDiabetes 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 Foot ProblemsLearn more about diabetes related foot problems. For people with diabetes, too much glucose in the blood can cause serious foot complications such as nerve damage, infection, and ulcers. Find tips for proper foot care to help prevent serious complications.
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Prediabetes is a condition in which a person has early symptoms of diabetes, but have not yet fully developed the condition. If prediabetes is not treated with lifestyle changes, the person will develop type 2 diabetes.
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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:
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Diabetic Home Care and MonitoringManaging 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.
Foot Problems (Diabetes)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.
Gestational diabetes is a condition that is first recognized during pregnancy and is characterized by high blood sugar. Approximately 4% of all pregnancies are diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Low blood sugar is prevented by hormones produced by the placenta during a woman's pregnancy. The actions of insulin are stopped by these hormones. Gestational diabetes is the result of the pancreas' inability to produce enough insulin to overcome the effect of the increase hormones during pregnancy.
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Sexual and Urologic Problems of DiabetesHaving 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.
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