What is Acarbose? Acarbose, also called Precose, goes to oral hypoglycemic agents. It’s a complementary element to treat and maintain a patient with health issues connected to sugar excess.

What Is Acarbose and How Does It Work?

What is Acarbose used for? It’s famous for its ability to diminish a blood sugar level after each meal. Both daily fluctuations and the average sugar level decrease. Thanks to the remedy’s ingredients, sugar supply from the small intestine becomes stable.

Acarbose tablets

What Is Acarbose Used for?

This kind of remedy is usually prescribed in order to significantly diminish and eliminate diabetic symptoms. It is prescribed with a balanced diet and physical exercise plan to improve a patient’s health. What is more, it’s the only oral hypoglycemic remedy, which is prescribed to fight against the disease.

Complex sugars entering the gastrointestinal tract after meals are initially broken down in the intestine to simple sugars by enzymes. Its main mechanism of action lies in competitively and reversibly binding to an enzyme of the small bowel involved in the digestion of carbohydrates.

Since the enzyme is occupied, the poly- and oligosaccharides supplied with food aren’t degraded and absorbed. This prevents the development of postprandial or reactive hyperglycemia.

Acarbose side effects

Precose Dosage

It’s prescribed for all patients right before meals by an oral intake. This treatment should be carried out under the control of the level of glycosylated hemoglobin and transaminases right after you begin your treatment process.

Dose of Precose

In order to double your treatment success, you must abide by the rules of taking this remedy below:

  1. Don’t miss your daily prescribed portion and manage to have it before food.
  2. Though you may feel much better, don’t stop taking it in accordance with the prescription.
  3. If you’re taking some specific medicines that could possibly interfere with this remedy, consult your specialist whether it’s appropriate and safe to use them simultaneously.

If, for some reason, you forgot to take the pill, do this as quickly as you can. On the contrary, if it’s time to have your next portion, skip the previous missed one and have it as usual.

For Children

It’s not approved for children’s treatment since there is no laboratory evidence of safety taking Acarbose medication in young people under 18.

For Adults

An adequate Acarbose dose is defined individually. It’s prescribed only to adults. The treatment process starts with 50 mg 3 g/day dose. Then, if necessary, it can be increased to 100 mg 3 g/day. In some cases, a specialist may prescribe 200 mg 3 g/day.

In case of emergencies, it’s recommended to deliberately increase your daily portion of the remedy.

During Pregnancy

Using this remedy for women carrying a baby or mommies-to-be is not recommended by many specialists. The medicine is not appropriate to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Precautions Before Taking This Drug

Since it seriously affects your situation, you need to consult your specialist and be ready to face some irreversible consequences and complications. They may include liver cirrhosis, acute and chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, and infections, especially complicated by digestion and absorption disorders. This remedy has to be approached with precise caution in case of fever, infectious diseases, trauma, surgical invasions.

An asymptomatic increase in the activity of hepatic enzymes is possible with prolonged use. Therefore, it’s recommended to regularly monitor the activity of hepatic transaminases in blood plasma.

With its simultaneous usage along with metformin and insulin, it may be a life-threatening situation, you need to consult a doctor to adjust the dose.

In order to be successful in the treatment process, it’s highly recommended to adhere to the diet rules. Besides, daily medication intake shouldn’t be interrupted without your specialist’s advice. This, in the aftermath, can lead to a sugar level increase.

The medication doesn’t lead to a lack of sugar in the bloodstream of those who have dietary restrictions. It can develop in patients who take insulin, sulfonylurea medications, or use metformin. Thus, such patients should consume sucrose and glucose.

You should remember that in the case of acute sugar lack, sucrose, fructose, and glucose are broken down more slowly during the treatment. Therefore, glucose should be used instead of sucrose to quickly correct this.

Ultimately, it’s not recommended to use such a method for patients who suffer from renal insufficiency since there have been no relevant studies in this group risk.

Acarbose Side Effects

Any remedy has eventually got certain secondary and undesirable consequences. Most often, it’s associated with the overdose of the drug. However, products that contain carbohydrates can cause flatulence and diarrhea, which are prominent Acarbose side effects. How to correct it? In this case, you should treat symptomatic digestive disorders. Avoid absorbing beverages and/or products containing lots of sugars, starch, and cellulose for 4 up to 6 hours after you’ve noticed the early signs of overdose.

Acarbose (Precose) side effects


Nervousness or Irritability

Any diseases attacking internal organs (diabetes mellitus, Ileus, Ileus-like symptoms) can seriously threaten the body’s systems. That is, the central nervous system is the first blind spot of the remedy’s ingredients. During the treatment, a patient may become more nervous and more irritable than before.

Abdominal Pain

Using the remedy, you may feel deterioration concerning the gastrointestinal tract as well as in the liver. There are frequent occurrences of abdominal pain accompanied by diarrhea. In rare cases, you may feel nausea. Most often, it’s caused by non-compliance to the diet menu.


On the part of the digestive system, a patient may suffer from flatulence. It inevitably leads to diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea combined with vomiting.

Extreme Thirst

If a patient doesn’t adhere to the treatment plan or if the hypoglycemic effect of the drug is insufficient, bloodstream sugar content may increase. Symptoms of hyperglycemia can include a feeling of intense thirst. It’s accompanied by frequent urination, itching, dry skin, fungal or infectious skin diseases, and decreased performance.

Dry Mouth

A dry mouth can be an indicator of a side effect if a patient has been under pressure, in a stressful situation, or hasn’t been abiding by the prescribed dosage rules.

Supplements That Interact with Acarbose

Interaction is explained as the process when a mixture modifies or completely alters the remedy’s performance and effectiveness. In the aftermath, it causes a lot of harm or interferes with it.

Therefore, if you have a prescription with another remedy consisting of this ingredient, your content of sugar may become extremely low, causing a lack of it in the bloodstream. Such signs may include rapid heartbeat, puzzled mind, trembling, or a feeling of weakness and dizziness. Here, you can see such drugs:

  • Sulfonylureas (glyburide/glimepiride).
  • Insulin.

To continue, if you take levothyroxine combined with this remedy, this may influence your sugar level aggravation as well. Therefore, your specialist should customize your plan of treatment course respectively.

If you use certain hormonal drugs with this remedy, it can also affect your well-being. Your specialist should take it into account while prescribing you the remedy.

Combining such a remedy with those medications that are aiming at heart pressure control, you can aggravate your complicated health situation. If both remedies are prescribed for you, the specialist may modify your portion or customize how often you’re allowed to use them at the same time. Right below, you can look through some examples of such remedies.

  • Acetohexamide;
  • Alatrofloxacin;
  • Atenolol;
  • Balofloxacin;
  • Bisoprolol;
  • Chlorpropamide;
  • Ciprofloxacin;
  • Clinafloxacin;
  • Metoprolol;
  • Propanol.

Precose Warnings

Though the remedy acts as an additional element in the course of treatment, you should mind all of its warnings. Thus, before choosing this method of medication, look at and read the disclaimer thoroughly and inform your doctor whether you may have and feel some possible secondary reactions, using other medications, intending upon becoming pregnant, having health issues, infection and intestinal disease.

Allergy Warning

In most cases, you may feel some allergy occurrences if you don’t follow the prescription. You may experience such secondary reactions as:

  • Tolerable pain in your stomach, abdomen, and sometimes bloating.
  • Rash on your body.
    When the level of sugar declines with a great amount of intensity, you may feel such reactions of your body as:
  • Splitting headache, migraine, or neuralgia.
  • Sudden and frequent mood swings.
  • You experience an increased body sweat without any effort.
  • Feeling of numb lips.
  • Trembling in your body, including extremities.
  • Bad vision.
  • Excessive anxiety.
  • Dizzy head.
  • Pale skin.

These secondary reactions don’t occur in every patient. Moreover, not everyone is going to experience them. There may even be some more reactions in addition to those listed. If you’ve got any doubts about some reactions of your organism to this remedy, don’t wait or hesitate to consult your specialist.

Alcohol Interaction Warning

When you’ve happened to fight against a disease, alcohol abuse can jeopardize your situation and provoke serious consequences. In fact, it can be influenced by the quantity you’re used to drinking. Therefore, discuss the use of the remedy with different nourishment products or strong drinks with your specialist.

People who fight against diabetes should adhere to certain guidelines. And if possible, limit their alcohol intake in order to diminish or totally eliminate the risk of aggravation of the health condition, as well as allow adequate time for liver recovery.

For men, it’s approved to consume no more than 14 units of alcohol per week. It equates to a little more than nine 125ml glasses of wine or seven pints of lager or beer. They’re allowed to consume no more than four units of alcohol per day. However, it’s recommended not to consume alcohol for 2/3 days a week.

For women, the specialists agree that an adequate quantity of alcohol is no more than 14 units per week. They’re allowed to consume about three units of alcohol per day, not exceeding this norm. Nevertheless, it’s recommended not to consume alcohol for 2/3 days a week.

During the course of using the remedy, frequent alcohol consumption can lead to irreversible consequences and complications. So, be careful and responsible to consider all possible risks.

Warnings for People with Certain Health Conditions

Such a treatment is forbidden for patients who suffer from any chronic disease. Especially if you’ve got bowel diseases accompanied by tremendous digestive and absorption disorders, it’s not acceptable to use it at all.
Also, patients who’ve got Roemheld syndrome, large hernias, ulcerative intestinal lesions, intestinal obstruction, including both complete and partial, shouldn’t use the medication. Moreover, aggravation of health situations can result in increased gas production in the intestine, impaired liver function, and vulnerability to some ingredients of the drug.

Drugs Similar to Precose (Acarbose)

Several drugs similar to Precose (acarbose) function as alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, aiding in the management of postprandial hyperglycemia by delaying carbohydrate digestion and absorption in the intestine. Miglitol, marketed under the brand name Glyset, shares a similar mechanism of action with acarbose, inhibiting alpha-glucosidase enzymes to reduce glucose absorption following meals. Voglibose, available under various brand names, including Volix and Voglib, also operates as an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor, effectively lowering postprandial blood sugar levels. These medications are valuable alternatives to acarbose for individuals with type 2 diabetes, particularly those who prioritize controlling blood glucose levels after meals as part of their treatment regimen.

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