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Acarbose Mechanism Of Action

Acarbose Mechanism Of Action


Acarbose is the generic name of drugs like Precose, that are prescribed to help type 2 diabetics control their blood sugar levels. Acarbose, or Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors act by blocking enzymes that digest carbohydrates in the small intestine. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars in our body. When Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors act, the rate at which carbohydrates are broken down into sugar is reduced. As a result, the speed at which sugar enters the bloodstream slows down. This leads to lower blood sugar levels. Diabetics using this drug have to deal with acarbose side effects. These include digestive troubles due to acarbose’s mechanism of action.

How Should Acarbose Be Used?

Acarbose is a tablet, usually taken three times a day. It is very important to take each dose with the first bite of each main meal. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. If you do not understand something, ask your healthcare practitioner or pharmacist. Take acarbose exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed. Continue to take acarbose even if you feel well. Do not stop taking acarbose without talking to your healthcare practitioner.

Side Effects

Diarrhea, gas, or abdominal discomfort/pain may occur as your body adjusts to this medication during the first few weeks. These side effects usually lessen with time. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: signs of liver problems (such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine).


Before taking acarbose, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: intestine/bowel problems (such as inflammatory bowel disease, blockage, ulcers), kidney problems, liver disease.

You may experience blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness due to extremely low or high blood sugar. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.

Limit alcohol while taking this medication because it can increase your risk of developing low blood sugar.

It may be harder to control your blood sugar when your body is stressed (such as due to fever, infection, injury, or surgery). Consult your doctor because this may require a change in your treatment plan, medications, or blood sugar testing.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Pregnancy may cause or worsen diabetes. Discuss a plan with your doctor for managing your blood sugar while pregnant. Your doctor may change your diabetes treatment during your pregnancy (such as diet and medications including insulin).

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

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