- 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 are the side effects of miglitol?
The most common side effects of miglitol are:
Rare but possible side effects include:
- low serum iron, and
- skin rash.
Quick GuideDiabetes Diet: Healthy Meal Plans for Diabetes-Friendly Eating
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.
Medically reviewed by John Cunha, DO
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
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...
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,...
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...
Slideshow: 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...
12 Tips to Avoid Diabetes Complications With Pictures
Diabetes complications can be serious problems for your health. Our experts suggest steps you can take to help cut your risk of...
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...
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...
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...
A diabetic diet, or diabetes diet helps keep blood glucose levels in the target range for patients. Exercise and medication may...
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
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Medication Disposal - What to Do with Old or Unusable Medication
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Daily Health News
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Diabetes Newsletter
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
Top miglitol Related ArticlesComplete List
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:
- Intestinal gas
- Abdominal pain
- An increase in liver enzymes
There are possible rare, but serious side effects of Precose that may include:
- Liver failure
- Severe skin reactions
Drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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 and Kidney DiseaseIn 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 Mgt in 10 Min.Learn 10 simple ways to better manage your diabetes. See tips for controlling blood sugar, diet and exercise and other helpful ideas that cut risk of complications for diabetics.
Diabetes MellitusDiabetes 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.
Diabetes Diet PlansDiscover the best and worst meals for diabetes-savvy dining. See how to avoid carbs and control your blood sugar with healthier meal combinations that retain all the foods and flavors you love.
Diabetes TreatmentThe major goal in treating diabetes is controlling elevated blood sugar without causing abnormally low levels of blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes is treated with:
- and a diabetic diet.
- weight reduction,
- a diabetic diet,
- and exercise.
Diabetes: Caring for Your Diabetes at Special TimeTaking 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.
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:
- 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
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.
Diabetic neuropathy a condition in which nerve damage has occurred as a complication of diabetes. The pain from the nerve damage can be severe with tingling or numbness in the part of the body affected. Diabetic neuropathy can occur anywhere in the body. Diabetic neuropathy can cause symptoms like intense pain, numbness, burning, or tingling in the part of the body affected by the condition.
There are four types of neuropathy include peripheral, autonomic, proximal and focal. Natural therapies and medications may help relieve the pain and other symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
Drug InteractionsDrug interactions occur frequently. Get facts about the types of drug interactions, what substances or other things that may interact with drugs such as OTC drug and prescription drugs, vitamins, food(s) (grapefruit), and laboratory tests. Find out how to protect yourself from potential drug interactions.
Hemoglobin A1c Test
Hemoglobin A1c or HbA1c is a protein on the surface of red blood cells. The HbA1c test is used to monitor blood sugar levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes over time. Normal HbA1c levels are 6% or less. HbA1c levels can be affected by insulin use, fasting, glucose intake (oral or IV), or a combination of these and other factors. High hemoglobin A1c levels in the blood increases the risk of microvascular complications, for example:
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Diabetic eye disease
- Diabetic kidney disease
Blood Sugar SwingsLearn to better control your glucose levels by preventing blood sugar swings. Beware of caffeine, sugary foods, spices, exercise, sleep, alcohol, and stress because these can all impact blood sugar levels and increase diabetes complications
Type 1 DiabetesWhat is type 1 diabetes? Is there a cure for type 1 diabetes? Learn about type 1 diabetes symptoms, warning signs, causes, and treatments.