Acarbose is a drug to lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. In order for the treatment to be more effective, the use of acarbose must be balanced with the application of a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Acarbose works by slowing the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates in the intestines. That way, this drug can reduce the increase in blood sugar levels after eating. In the treatment of  type 2 diabetes , acarbose can be combined with other antidiabetic drugs, such as metformin or insulin.

Acarbose trademarks:  Acarbose, Acrios, Capribose, Carbotrap, Ditrium, Eclid, Glucobay, Glubose

What is Acarbose

Group Prescription drugs
Category Antidiabetic
Benefits Controlling blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics
Consumed by Adults
Acarbose for pregnant and lactating women Category B: Studies on experimental animals do not show any risk to the fetus, but there are no controlled studies on pregnant women. It is not known whether acarbose is absorbed into breast milk or not. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without first consulting your doctor.
Drug form Tablets

Warnings Before Consuming Acarbose

Acarbose should not be consumed carelessly. Here are the things you should pay attention to before consuming acarbose:

  • Do not consume acarbose if you are allergic to this drug. Tell your doctor about any allergies you have.
  • Do not consume  alcoholic beverages during treatment with acarbose because it can increase the risk of hypoglycemia.
  • Do not consume acarbose if you have had or are suffering from  cirrhosis of the liver , intestinal ulcers, intestinal inflammation , diabetic ketoacidosis, or intestinal obstruction.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or have ever suffered from kidney disease, liver disease, hernia, stomach disorder, or intestinal disorder.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or have recently suffered an injury, infectious disease , fever, or undergone a certain surgical procedure. Closer monitoring of sugar levels may be necessary to reduce the risk of complications.
  • Do not drive a vehicle or do activities that require alertness after consuming acarbose.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are using certain medications, supplements, or herbal products.
  • See a doctor immediately if you experience a drug allergic reaction , overdose, or serious side effects after consuming acarbose.

Dosage and Administration of Acarbose

The initial dose of acarbose for adult patients is 50 mg once a day. The dose can be increased to 50 mg 3 times a day. If necessary, the dose can be increased to 100 mg 3 times a day after 6–8 weeks. The maximum dose is 200 mg 3 times a day.

How to Consume Acarbose Correctly

Always follow the doctor 's advice and read the instructions on the medicine package before consuming acarbose.

Consumption of acarbose when about to start eating. Swallow acarbose tablets with water. Acarbose can also be swallowed together with the first meal. When you have difficulty swallowing the medicine whole, acarbose tablets can be chewed.

Try to consume acarbose at the same time every day. Make sure there is enough time between one dose and the next. Keep taking this medicine even if you feel better. Do not stop consuming acarbose without first consulting a doctor.

If you forget to take acarbose, immediately take the missed dose if it is not too close to the next dose. If it is close, ignore it and do not double the dose of acarbose.

It should be remembered that acarbose cannot cure type 2 diabetes. In order for the treatment to be more effective, the patient needs to adopt a healthy lifestyle, for example, stop smoking, do not consume alcoholic beverages, adjust the diet as needed, and exercise regularly.

Store acarbose in a closed container, at room temperature, in a dry place, and away from direct sunlight. Keep the medicine out of the reach of children.

Interactions of Acarbose with Other Drugs

The use of acarbose together with other drugs can cause several interaction effects, among others:

  • Increased effects of other antidiabetics, such as insulin
  • A reduction in the effect of acarbose if used with digestive tract adsorbent drugs, such as activated carbon ( charcoal ) or digestant drugs , such as amylase and pancreatin
  • Drastic changes in blood sugar levels that can cause hypoglycemia or even hyperglycemia if used with gatifloxacin
  • Increased risk of liver damage if used with lomitapide, mipomersen, or teriflunomide
  • Increased effect of acarbose if used with neomycin or colestyramine
  • Decreased absorption of digoxin

Side Effects and Dangers of Acarbose

The following are side effects that can occur after consuming acarbose:

  • Bloated stomach
  • Exhale often
  • Stomachache
  • Diarrhea

Consult a doctor if the side effects do not improve or even worsen. In addition to these side effects, there are also serious side effects that can occur after consuming acarbose, among others:

  • Severe constipation
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Liver dysfunction 

See a doctor immediately if you experience the serious side effects that have been mentioned above or experience an allergic drug reaction that can be characterized by shortness of breath, an itchy skin rash, or swelling of the lips, tongue, or eyelids.

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