Topics covered include: basic pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus type 1 & type 2, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, insulin production, pancreatic beta & alpha cells, glycogen, glucagon, glucose function. Mechanism of action of antidiabetic drugs; rapid, short, intermediate, long -acting insulin analogs, synthetic amylin, incretin mimetics, DPP-4 inhibitors, sulfonylureas, glinides, biguanides, thiazolidinediones, sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors, and alpha-glucosidase inhibitors. Drugs mentioned include insulins Lispro, Aspart, Glulisine, Regular, NPH (isophane), Detemir, Glargine, Degludec; Pramlintide; Exenatide, Liraglutide; Alogliptin, Linagliptin, Saxagliptin, Sitagliptin; Glimepiride, Glyburide, Glipizide; Nateglinide, Repaglinide; Metformin; Pioglitazone, Rosiglitazone; Canagliflozin, Dapagliflozin; Acarbose, Miglitol.
Pharmacology: Acarbose is an oral alpha glucosidase inhibitor used for the treatment of diabetes mellitus.
Learn about Acarbose (alpha-glucosidase inhibitors) and diabetes drugs. MDs provide answers.
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors are oral anti-diabetic drugs used for diabetes mellitus type 2 that work by preventing the digestion of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are normally converted into simple sugars, which can be absorbed through the intestine. Hence, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors reduce the impact of carbohydrates on blood sugar. This video is targeted to blind users. Attribution: Article text available under CC-BY-SA Creative Commons image source in video
Diabetes: Sulfonylureas medication
What is acarbose? Acarbose slows the digestion of carbohydrates in the body, which helps control blood sugar levels. Acarbose is used together with diet and exercise to treat type 2 diabetes. Acarbose is sometimes used in combination with insulin or other diabetes medications you take by mouth. Acarbose may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. What is the most important information I should know about acarbose? You should not use acarbose if you have inflammatory bowel disease, an ulcer or blockage in your intestines, or cirrhosis of the liver. Do not use acarbose if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin). What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking acarbose? You should not use acarbose if you are allergic to it, or if you have: inflammatory bowel disease; a blockage in your intestines; a digestive disorder affecting your intestines; intestinal ulcer (of your colon); cirrhosis of the liver; or diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin). To make sure acarbose is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have: liver disease; kidney disease; a bowel or intestinal disorder; or a stomach disorder. This medicine is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known whether acarbose passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using acarbose. Acarbose is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old. How should I take acarbose? Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Take acarbose with the first bite of a main meal, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor's office. If you take acarbose with insulin or other diabetes medications, your blood sugar could get too low. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can happen to everyone who has diabetes. Symptoms include headache, hunger, sweating, confusion, irritability, dizziness, or feeling shaky. Always keep a source of dextrose (D-glucose) with you in case you have low blood sugar. When taking acarbose, dextrose will work better than cane sugar or table sugar in treating hypoglycemia. Sources of dextrose include honey, dates, raisins, plums, dried prunes, grapes, or glucose tablets. Be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency. If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use a glucagon injection. Your doctor can prescribe a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to use it. Also watch for signs of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) such as increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, and weight loss. Check your blood sugar carefully during times of stress, travel, illness, surgery or medical emergency, vigorous exercise, or if you drink alcohol or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your dose needs may also change. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice. Acarbose is only part of a complete treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, regular blood sugar testing, and special medical care. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely. Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use. What happens if I miss a dose? Take the missed dose as soon as you remember (be sure to take it with a meal). If it has been longer than 15 minutes since you started your meal, you may still take acarbose but it may be less effective than taking it with the first bite of the meal. Do not take acarbose between meals, and do not take extra medicine to make up a missed dose. What happens if I overdose? Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. In case of overdose, do not eat or drink anything containing carbohydrates for the next 4 to 6 hours. What should I avoid while taking acarbose? Avoid drinking alcohol. It can lower your blood sugar. Avoid taking a digestive enzyme such as pancreatin, amylase, or lipase at the same time you take acarbose. These enzymes can make it harder for your body to absorb acarbose. Products that contain digestive enzymes include Arco-Lase, Cotazym, Donnazyme, Pancrease, Creon, and Ku-Zyme. Acarbose side effects Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.