only for $0.73


Active ingredient: Acarbose

Dosages: 25mg, 50mg

Buy Now

What is Acarbose?

Acarbose is a medication that helps people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body struggles to handle sugar properly, which can cause the levels in your blood to become too high. This is where this drug comes in.

When you eat, your body breaks down foods rich in carbohydrates (like bread, pasta, and sweets) into sugar, which enters your bloodstream. This drug works by slowing down this breakdown process in your intestines. This means that sugar is released more slowly into your blood after you eat, helping to prevent sudden spikes in your blood sugar levels.

You usually take the pill with your first bite of each main meal. It’s important to remember that this drug only helps manage blood sugar; it doesn’t cure diabetes. People who use this medicine still need to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly to help control their diabetes.

What is the drug Acarbose used for?

Acarbose is a medication primarily used to help manage type 2 diabetes. Its main goal is to control blood sugar levels, which can be particularly high after meals. By controlling these levels, it helps prevent the harmful effects of high blood sugar over time, such as nerve damage, kidney issues, and heart problems.

In simpler terms, it acts like a speed bump for sugar entering your bloodstream. It slows down the breakdown of starches and sugars in your food, which helps to keep your blood sugar levels more stable after you eat. This is especially important for people with diabetes, who have trouble managing their blood sugar levels.

Besides being used on its own, doctors might also prescribe this drug alongside other diabetes medications or treatments like diet and exercise to get better control over blood sugar. Sometimes, it is even used in people who don’t have diabetes but need help managing spikes in their blood sugar due to other medical conditions.

What class of drugs is Acarbose?

Acarbose belongs to a class of drugs known as alpha-glucosidase inhibitors. This might sound complicated, but it’s actually straightforward when broken down:

  • Alpha-glucosidase is an enzyme, which is a type of protein that helps speed up certain chemical reactions in the body. In this case, the enzyme helps break down starches (complex carbohydrates) into simpler sugars during digestion.
  • Inhibitors are substances that slow down or stop a chemical reaction. So, as an inhibitor, it works by slowing down the action of alpha-glucosidase.

Putting it all together, this is a medication that stops this specific enzyme from working too quickly. By doing so, it slows down the process of turning the food you eat into sugar, helping to keep blood sugar levels from rising too fast after meals. This is particularly beneficial for managing diabetes, where controlling blood sugar is essential.

What does Acarbose do to your body?

Acarbose is a medication that helps manage blood sugar levels, particularly useful for people with type 2 diabetes. Here’s a simple breakdown of what Acarbose does to your body:

  1. Slows down sugar breakdown: When you eat foods containing carbohydrates (like bread, rice, or pasta), your body breaks them down into sugar, which then enters your bloodstream. It works by slowing down this breakdown process in your intestines. This means that sugar enters your bloodstream more slowly, helping to prevent rapid spikes in your blood sugar levels.
  2. Helps manage blood sugar spikes: By controlling how quickly sugars are released into your blood, it helps manage the sharp rises in blood sugar that can occur after meals. This is crucial for people with diabetes, as these spikes can be harmful over time if not controlled.
  3. Aids in overall diabetes management: While this medicine doesn’t cure diabetes, it’s an effective tool in the overall management strategy. It’s often used alongside other methods like diet changes, exercise, and sometimes other medications to help keep blood sugar levels within a healthy range.

How should I apply Acarbose?

When starting treatment with this medical option, it’s important to know how to properly take the medication to ensure it works effectively. Here’s a straightforward guide:

Do you chew or swallow Acarbose?

Acarbose tablets should be swallowed whole with a little water; you should not chew them. The reason for this is that it is designed to work in your intestines, gradually slowing down the absorption of sugars as your food is digested. Chewing the tablet would release the medication all at once instead of slowly over time, which could make it less effective and increase the risk of side effects. By swallowing the tablets whole, you ensure that the drug works correctly to help manage your blood sugar levels effectively.

How do you dissolve Acarbose?

The tablets should not be dissolved in water or any other liquid. They are designed to be swallowed whole. Dissolving the tablets can alter how the medication is released and absorbed in your body, which can potentially lead to reduced effectiveness in controlling blood sugar levels and an increased likelihood of side effects. The correct way to take this drug is to swallow the tablet whole with a little water at the start of each main meal to ensure it works properly in slowing down the digestion of carbohydrates.

How long does it take for Acarbose to start working?

Acarbose starts working almost immediately after ingestion, as its primary function is to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates in your meals. When you take this option with the first bite of your meal, it begins to inhibit the enzymes responsible for breaking down complex carbohydrates into simpler sugars right in the intestine. This action prevents rapid increases in blood sugar levels right after eating.

However, while the effects are immediate in terms of its interaction with digestive enzymes, the overall impact on your blood sugar levels, such as noticeable improvements in your blood sugar control, might take a bit longer to observe. It could take several weeks of regular use, as part of a comprehensive diabetes management plan, to see significant changes in your blood sugar readings.

Can you take Acarbose on an empty stomach?

No, you should not take this medicine on an empty stomach. It is designed to be taken at the start of a meal. This timing is crucial because it works by directly interacting with the carbohydrates in your food, slowing their breakdown into sugars during digestion.

Taking this drug on an empty stomach would mean there are no carbohydrates to act upon, which would make the medication ineffective. Moreover, taking it without food could potentially lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, such as gas or bloating, since the medication is still active but not being used properly.

Who should not take Acarbose?

Acarbose is generally safe for many people with type 2 diabetes, but it’s not suitable for everyone. Here are some groups of people who should avoid taking this medicine:

  • People with digestive issues: Those with inflammatory bowel disease or severe intestinal problems should avoid this drug.
  • Individuals with severe kidney disease: This drug may not be safe for those with significantly impaired kidney function.
  • Pregnant or nursing women: Consult a doctor before using it is if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • People allergic to acarbose: Avoid if you’ve had an allergic reaction to it in the past.
  • Children: This drug is not typically prescribed for children, as its safety and effectiveness in this group aren’t established.

What is a common side effect of Acarbose?

Acarbose, while effective in managing blood sugar levels, is associated with several common side effects that users may experience. These include:

  • Gas: A frequent and sometimes uncomfortable increase in gas production.
  • Bloating: Feeling of fullness or swelling in the abdomen.
  • Stomach pain: Discomfort or pain that occurs in the abdominal area.
  • Diarrhea: Loose or watery stools that may occur frequently.
  • Constipation: Difficulty in passing stools or less frequent bowel movements than usual.

What precautions should be taken during Acarbose?

When taking it in, there are several precautions you should consider to ensure it is safe and effective:

  1. Monitor your blood sugar levels: Keep a close eye on your blood sugar, especially when you start taking this drug in or if your dose is changed. This helps to ensure your levels are stable and within a healthy range.
  2. Eat a balanced diet: While this medication helps manage blood sugar spikes after meals, maintaining a balanced diet is crucial. Be mindful of your carbohydrate intake and try to eat consistent, balanced meals.
  3. Know how to treat low blood sugar: Since this drug interferes with sugar absorption, it’s important to have a quick source of glucose (like glucose tablets or gel) in case you experience symptoms of low blood sugar, such as shaking, sweating, or confusion.
  4. Inform your healthcare providers: Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this drug. This is important because it can affect other medical treatments or procedures.
  5. Check with your doctor before taking new medications: Some medications can interfere with how it works or increase the risk of side effects. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new prescription or over-the-counter medication.
  6. Attend regular check-ups: Regular visits to your healthcare provider are important to check your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment.

What should you avoid when taking Acarbose?

When taking acarbose, you should be cautious about using the following types of medications due to potential interactions:

  1. Digestive Enzymes: These can decrease its effectiveness.
  2. Diuretics (Water Pills): These might alter your blood sugar levels unpredictably.
  3. Steroids: These can increase blood sugar levels, potentially countering its effects.
  4. Other Diabetes Medications: Adjustments might be needed to avoid overly low blood sugar.
  5. Charcoal or Digestive Adsorbents: These can interfere with its absorption, reducing its effectiveness.

Can I drink alcohol with Acarbose?

Drinking alcohol while taking this drug is generally not recommended. Here’s why:

  1. Blood Sugar Levels: Alcohol can affect your blood sugar levels, causing them to either rise or fall. This unpredictability can be risky when combined with acarbose, which is meant to stabilize these levels.
  2. Increased Risk of Side Effects: Alcohol can increase the likelihood of experiencing its side effects, such as stomach pain, bloating, and diarrhea.
  3. Hypoglycemia: Especially when drinking on an empty stomach, alcohol increases the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Since this option also lowers blood sugar by slowing the digestion of carbohydrates, the combined effect can dangerously drop your blood sugar levels.

Where to get more info about the drug?

Every user may get more info about this drug if you follow the link.

Disclaimer: This document does not cover all information about this medication and should not be used as a substitute for the medication guide, a consultation with a pharmacist, or advice from your healthcare provider. For the full medication guide, more detailed information, or any further questions, please contact your pharmacist or healthcare provider directly. It is essential to follow their advice and the official medication guide to ensure the medication is used safely and effectively. Always talk to your healthcare provider before making any changes to your medication regimen and report any unexpected side effects or concerns immediately. Your pharmacist and healthcare provider are the best resources for information and support regarding your health and medications.

By John Hoffman, M.D., FACS
Medically Reviewed by Vincent DeVita
Last Update: July 02, 2024