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Why is this medication prescribed?

Acarbose is used to treat type 2 diabetes (condition in which the body does not utilise insulin normally and consequently cannot control the quantity of sugar in the blood) in combination with diet alone or diet and other drugs. Acarbose works by delaying the release of glucose (sugar) into your blood from particular molecules that break down food. Blood sugar levels after meals can be kept from getting too high by slowing food digestion.

People with diabetes and high blood sugar over time may experience serious or fatal complications, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney issues, nerve damage, and vision issues. It may be possible to control your diabetes and enhance your health by taking medication(s), making lifestyle changes (such as diet, exercise, and quitting smoking), and monitoring your blood sugar frequently. This treatment may also lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, nerve damage (resulting in numb, cold legs or feet and diminished sex capacity in both men and women), eye issues, such as changes in eyesight or blindness, or gum disease, which are all symptoms of diabetes. The optimal strategy to manage your diabetes will be discussed with you by your doctor and other healthcare professionals.

How should this medicine be used?

Acarbose is available as an oral tablet. Typically, it is taken three times each day. Each dose should be taken with the first bite of each big meal. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Administer acarbose precisely as prescribed. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

Acarbose should still be used even if you feel OK. Without consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking acarbose.

Other uses for this medicine

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you’re interested in using this drug for any other conditions.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking acarbose,

  • If you have a reaction to acarbose or any other medication, tell your doctor and pharmacist right away.
  • In particular, mention other diabetes medications, digoxin (Lanoxin), diuretics (‘water pills’), oestrogens, isoniazid, medications for high blood pressure or colds, oral contraceptives, pancreatic enzymes, phenytoin (Dilantin), steroids, thyroid medications, and vitamins to your doctor and pharmacist.
  • Inform your physician if you now suffer from or had had cirrhosis, ketoacidosis, or any intestinal disorders including inflammatory bowel disease or bowel obstruction.
  • Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Call your doctor if you conceive while taking acarbose.
  • Inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking acarbose if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Make sure to abide by all dietary and exercise advice given to you by your physician or nutritionist. It’s crucial to maintain a healthy diet.

Blood sugar levels may drop as a result of alcohol. Inquire with your doctor if drinking alcohol is okay for you to do while taking acarbose.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. Take a dose together with the snack if you’ll be eating one soon. Skip the missed dose if the next one is almost due, and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Acarbose may result in an abnormal decrease of blood sugar levels when combined with insulin or other diabetes treatments.

You should utilise glucose products (such as Instant-Glucose or B-D Glucose tablets) and contact your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. Fruit juice and other items containing these sugars won’t assist to raise blood sugar levels since acarbose prevents the breakdown of table sugar and other complex carbohydrates. This distinction between acarbose and other diabetic drugs should be understood by you and other household members.

  • Shakiness
  • Unsteadiness or faintness
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety or irritation
  • Abrupt alterations in mood or behaviour
  • Headache
  • Tingling or numbness in the mouth
  • Weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Hunger
  • Ungainly or jerky motions

If hypoglycemia is not treated, severe symptoms may develop. Be sure that your family, friends, and other people who spend time with you know that if you have any of the following symptoms, they should get medical treatment for you immediately.

  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

If you experience any of the following signs of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), call your doctor right away:

  • Severe thirst
  • Often urinating
  • Severe hunger
  • Weakness
  • Distorted vision

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a dangerous, sometimes fatal illness that can arise from untreated high blood sugar. If any of the following symptoms apply to you, contact your doctor right away:

  • Mouth ache
  • Stomach pain and vomiting
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Fruity-smelling breath
  • Decreased awareness

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Store it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at for additional information.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To determine how you are responding to acarbose, your doctor will request a few lab tests. Your doctor will also instruct you on how to measure your blood or urine sugar levels at home in order to monitor your response to this medicine. Observe these guidelines closely.

Wearing a diabetes identity bracelet will ensure that you receive the right care in an emergency.

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Prandase®
  • Precose®
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