Acarbose (By mouth)
Improves glycemic control in adults with diabetes.
Antidiabetic (About this – PubMed Health)
Uses of This Medicine
Acarbose is used to treat type 2 diabetes. Normally, your pancreas releases insulin into the blood stream after you eat. Insulin is used by all the cells in your body to help turn the food you eat into energy. This is done by using glucose (sugar) in the blood as quick energy. When you have type 2 diabetes, insulin is still produced by your pancreas, but the amount of insulin produced may not be enough or your body may not be using it properly and you may still need more. Because of this, the insulin is not able to lower your blood sugar properly and you will have too much sugar in your blood. Acarbose lowers your blood sugar by preventing the breakdown of starch into sugar. It may be used alone or in combination with another type of oral diabetes medicine called a sulfonylurea.
This medicine is available only with your doctor’s prescription.
Other uses (PubMed Health)
How To Use
Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
Take your medicine with the first bite of each main meal.
Missed dose: If you remember the missed dose while you are still eating or right after you finished your meal, take the dose right away. Otherwise, wait until your next main meal to take your medicine. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Some medicines can affect how acarbose works. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:Digoxin, isoniazid, niacin, phenytoin A calcium channel blocker, cold or allergy medicine, diuretics (water pills), estrogen or birth control pills, phenothiazine medicines (such as promethazine, chlorpromazine), steroid medicine, thyroid medicine
When Not To Use
This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to acarbose, or if you have cirrhosis or a bowel disorder such as colitis, Crohn disease, or a blockage in your bowel.
You may need to keep glucose tablets or gel with you in case your blood sugar level becomes too low. Table sugar may not work as well, because acarbose keeps your body from absorbing regular sugar quickly.
Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Possible side effects
Summary More details
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
Shaking, trembling, sweating, fast or pounding heartbeat, lightheadedness, hunger, confusion
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More side effects of this drug
Brand names include
There may be other brand names for this medicine.