Acarbose is used to control blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Acarbose is sometimes used in combination with insulin or other diabetes medications
How it works
Acarbose belongs to class of medications called Oral hypoglycemics (alpha-glucosidase inhibitor). Acarbose decreases the digestion and absorption of carbohydrate in the intestine by inhibiting intestinal enzyme (alpha glucosidase) results in reduction of increase in blood glucose level after meal
What is Acarbose?
Acarbose is a diabetes medication which is also sold under the trade names Precose, Glucobay among several other names. It works by slowing the metabolism of carbohydrates in the body, which in turn helps in controlling blood sugar levels. Acarbose is prescribe for people suffering from type 2 diabetes and is used along with insulin or other oral diabetes medications for effective diabetes management. It may also be prescribed for other conditions not listed here.
Important Information about Acarbose
Don’t take Acarbose medication if you are allergic to its active ingredient namely Acarbose, or if you are suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis. You should also avoid Acarbose if you have problems in your alimentary canal like inflammatory bowel disease, an ulcer or blockage in your intestines, or liver cirrhosis. Taking Acarbose in combination with insulin or other diabetes medications can lead to hypoclycemia or very low blood sugar, especially if you skip a meal, exercise for too long, consume alcohol, or are under stress. Symptoms of low blood sugar include headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, irritability, or concentration troubles. Remember to keep some sources of instant sugar handy like glucose tablets, candy, orange juice, or milk. Train your family members and close friends to help you in times of emergency. In case of severe hypoglycemia in which you may not be able to eat or drink, you may have to take glucagon injections. Your doctor will prepare you for an emergency by prescribing you a glucagon emergency injection kit and also train you on how to administer it yourself. Acarbose medication will not control your diabetic problems single handedly. You have to maintain strict diet, exercise and weight control measures and may also require other medications. Going slack in any of these can result in your condition going out of control and can be dangerous. Acarbose is classified as FDA pregnancy category B which means it is not expected to be harmful to your unborn baby in case you are pregnant. It is also unknown if Acarbose can pass into breast milk and harm your baby. Talk to your doctor about it if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
Before taking Acarbose
Take care of the precautions mentioned above before taking Acarbose. Talk to your doctor about complete details of the side effects and risks associated with Acarbose medication.
How should I take Acarbose?
Take Acarbose medication strictly as advised by your doctor. Don’t alter the course of the medication in any way, either by amount or by duration. Your doctor may advise you to change Acarbose dose sometimes to ensure best diabetes management. All medications come with a patient leaflet. Refer it for more details if you have any doubts or call your doctor or pharmacist. Acarbose is normally taken with the first bite of a main meal, unless or otherwise directed by your doctor to take it in a different way. While taking Acarbose, you have to keep a close watch on your blood sugar levels and may also require undergoing several blood tests. Don’t skip any of these tests. Your Acarbose may be altered or temporarily suspended by your doctor if you suffer from some illness, infection, or if you have a scheduled surgery or a medical emergency. However, never change the dosage yourself. Always store Acarbose medication in a cool and dry place, away from heat, moisture, children and pets.
What happens if I miss a dose of Acarbose?
If you miss an Acarbose dose, take it as soon as you remember it but with some food. If it has been more than 15 minutes into your meal, you may still take it but the effect will be not as normal. Avoid taking Acarbose between meals, and don’t take extra medication or two doses near to each other to compensate for the missed dose.
What if I overdose?
Get emergency medical attention or call the Doctor immediately if you feel that you have taken an overdose of Acarbose. You may experience bloating, gas, or stomach discomfort due to Acarbose overdose. In case of overdose, don’t eat or drink starchy foods or foods which contain carbohydrates for the next 4 to 6 hours.
What should I avoid while taking Acarbose?
Avoid consuming alcohol while taking Acarbose as alcohol can lower blood sugar drastically. Also avoid taking a digestive enzyme such as pancreatin amylase or lipase at the same time you take Acarbose dose. These enzymes can hinder Acarbose absorption.
Acarbose Side Effects
Get emergency medical attention if you witness some allergic reactions to Acarbose like hives, breathing difficulty, swelling in face, lips, tongue, or throat. Also call your doctor immediately if you experience these serious side effects due to Acarbose: severe stomach pain or constipation; watery or bloody diarrhea; unexplained bleeding through nose, mouth, rectum or vagina; purple or red pinpoint spots underneath your skin; or nausea; upper stomach pain; itching; appetite loss; dark urine; clay colored stools; or jaundice. Some common and less serious side effects of Acarbose are mild stomach pain, gas, bloating, mild diarrhea, mild rash or itching on skin. These are not all the side effects which you may experience due to Acarbose intake. There may be other side effects.
Acarbose Dosing Information
Take the exact dose of Acarbose as prescribed by your doctor.
Interaction with other drugs
Chances of hyperglycemia may increase if you take Acarbose with these medications: diuretics; isoniazid; steroids; birth control pills and other hormones; diet pills or medicines to treat ADHD; colds or allergies; thyroid medicine; niacin; or phenothiazines; heart or blood pressure medications like diltiazem, amlodipine, verapamil, or others. Tell your doctor if you use any of these medications. Also let your doctor know if you take insulin or other oral diabetes medications like glipizide, glimepiride, glyburide, or others. The list of medications mentioned above is not a complete one and there may be other drug interactions possible. Share the list of all medications which you use at present and never start a new medication without proper consultation from a doctor.
Bayer Pharma, India
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