- Type 2 Diabetes: Learn the Warning Signs
- Diabetes Friendly Dining
- Type 2 Diabetes: Test Your Medical IQ
- What is miglitol, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for miglitol?
- Do I need a prescription for miglitol?
- What are the side effects of miglitol?
- What is the dosage for miglitol?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with miglitol?
- Is miglitol safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about miglitol?
What is miglitol, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Miglitol is an oral medication used to control blood glucose (sugar) levels in type 2 diabetes. It belongs to a class of drugs called alpha-glucosidase inhibitors which also includes acarbose (Precose). Carbohydrates that are eaten are digested by enzymes in the intestine into smaller sugars which are absorbed into the body and raise 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 single sugars, like glucose, that can be absorbed. Miglitol 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 (postprandial hyperglycemia). It does not increase insulin production, and its effect on glucose is additive to the effect from other types of drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes. Miglitol may reduce the weight gain that frequently is caused by sulfonylureas, another type of drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. The FDA approved miglitol in December 1996.
What is the dosage for miglitol?
- The initial miglitol dose may start at 25 mg three times daily and then increase after four to eight weeks to 50-100 mg three times daily.
- The maximum dose is 100 mg three times daily.
- Some patients may benefit from starting at 25 mg once daily to reduce the occurrence of upset stomach.
- Miglitol should be taken at the first bite of each meal.
- Smaller doses may be adequate for patients with severe kidney dysfunction.
- Miglitol therapy is not advised in the presence of certain medical conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis) or intestinal obstruction and chronic intestinal diseases involving difficulty with digestion or absorption such as Crohn's disease.
- Miglitol doses 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 over a prolonged period of time.)
Which drugs or supplements interact with miglitol?
Miglitol also may reduce the effectiveness of ranitidine (Zantac) and propranolol (Inderal). An adjustment in dose based on monitoring of the patient may be necessary if miglitol is used with either of these drugs.
Intestinal adsorbents (for example, charcoal) and digestive enzymes (for example, amylase, pancreatin) may reduce the effect of miglitol and should not be taken concomitantly.
Adding a sulfonylurea during therapy with miglitol may lower blood glucose further, and the risk for developing hypoglycemia is greater. Caution should be used when combining these drugs.
If mild to moderate hypoglycemia occurs while taking miglitol in combination with a sulfonylurea, oral glucose (dextrose) should be used for treatment instead of sucrose (table sugar). Since miglitol blocks the digestion of sucrose to glucose, hypoglycemia will not be rapidly corrected if sucrose is given. Miglitol alone does not produce hypoglycemia.
Is miglitol safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
There are no safety and efficacy studies in humans. Insulin therapy is recommended during pregnancy.
Miglitol is excreted in human breast milk in small amounts. Drug exposure to the infant is expected although in small amounts. Miglitol is not recommended for nursing mothers.
What else should I know about miglitol?
What preparations of miglitol are available?
Tablets: 25, 50 and 100 mg.
How should I keep miglitol stored?
Miglitol should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F), in an air-tight container.
Daily Health News
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
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...
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...
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,...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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....
Diabetic Neuropathy (Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment)
Diabetic neuropathy a condition in which nerve damage has occurred as a complication of diabetes. The pain from the nerve...
Diabetes and Eye Problems
Diabetes and eye problems are generally caused by high blood sugar levels over an extended period of time. Types of eye problems...
A diabetic diet, or diabetes diet helps keep blood glucose levels in the target range for patients. Exercise and medication may...
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...
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...
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...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- 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.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information