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Acarbose - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Acarbose: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is Acarbose?

Acarbose is a medication used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor that inhibits various enzymes involved in breaking complex carbohydrates into simple carbohydrates. This leads to reduced absorption of simpler carbohydrates and avoids postprandial spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. Acarbose is usually used along with exercise, diet planning, and other medications. It is available as 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg tablets; and also as a fixed drug combination (FDC) with metformin, etc.

What are the uses of Acarbose?

Acarbose is used in patients with diabetes, along with exercise and diet control. Acarbose helps maintain glycemic control by inhibiting the breakdown of complex carbohydrates. It can be used along with other medications to reduce blood glucose levels; therefore, it helps prevent complications associated with high blood sugar levels such as renal damage, nerve problems, blindness. Better glycemic control also significantly reduces the risk of heart diseases or stroke.

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What are the side effects of Acarbose?

Common side effects

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence

Serious side effects

  • Liver problems
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Appetite loss
  • Yellow skin/dark urine
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Severe diarrhea or constipation
  • Bloody stools
  • Pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis (rare)
  • Severe allergic reaction

The majority of the side effects associated with acarbose are self-limiting and usually resolve on their own without any medical intervention. However, if any symptoms start to bother you or get worse, you should immediately seek medical attention.

What is Acarbose

Uses of Acarbose

Side effects of Acarbose

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Acarbose

1. Can you take acarbose with metformin?

Acarbose can be taken with metformin at the dose and frequency prescribed by your doctor. An FDC of acarbose and metformin is also available for ease of administration. However, you should monitor your blood glucose levels as the combination can cause hypoglycemia. Also, weight gain has been seen in a few patients taking metformin.

2. Does acarbose cause hypoglycemia?

Usually, acarbose does not cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels in diabetics. However, excessive exercise, a carb-free diet, and other anti-diabetic medications can cause hypoglycemia. You should monitor your blood glucose levels periodically to look out for hypoglycemia. Consult our experts for medical opinions on the best use of acarbose and diabetes care.

3. Can I use acarbose in place of voglibose?

Acarbose and Voglibose are both alpha-glucosidase inhibitors that inhibit the breakdown of complex carbohydrates into simple carbohydrates. However, these should not be used interchangeably on your own. Your doctor might replace them with each other based on your blood glucose levels and adverse effects experienced. Consult our doctors for various treatment approaches for diabetes management.

4. Does acarbose cause hernias?

Acarbose is known to cause adverse effects on the gastrointestinal tract, but there is no data to substantiate hernia causation with acarbose use. However, individuals with intestinal disorders such as hernia should not take acarbose as increased gas production can worsen these conditions. Consult our medical experts for the best advice around the use of acarbose and the management of diabetes.

5. Does acarbose cause ulceration?

Although there is no substantial data to establish ulceration associated with acarbose use, acarbose can cause gastrointestinal issues. Additionally, acarbose is contraindicated in individuals with ulcers and ulcerative colitis; and you should inform your doctor if you have ulcers. Consult our medical doctors to learn more about adverse effects associated with acarbose use and their management.

6. How to dissolve acarbose?

Acarbose is a crystalline solid that can be dissolved in a solvent of choice to prepare a stock solution. Acarbose is very soluble in water and has good solubility (approximately 129 mg/mL) in organic solvents such as Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) and dimethylformamide. It has lesser solubility in ethanol and methanol.

7. Is acarbose responsible for pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis?

Pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis is a serious medical condition characterized by multiple gas-filled cysts in the intestine wall, subserosa, and submucosa of the intestine. Acarbose has the potential to cause it, although the frequency is very rare, and not everyone will develop it. Consult our doctors for expert opinions regarding the use of acarbose and associated side effects.

8. Is acarbose soluble in DMSO?

Acarbose was the first alpha-glucosidase inhibitor that was developed to reduce the breakdown of complex carbohydrates. DMSO is a chemical reagent and organic solvent that is used to isolate acarbose from plant-based extracts. Acarbose has good solubility in DMSO, approximately 129 mg/mL.

9. Is acarbose soluble in water?

Chemically, acarbose is an oligosaccharide that is derived from a microorganism and is a white crystalline powder. The powder is very soluble in water, with a pKa of 5.1. Acarbose gets readily dissolved in water and gets readily absorbed in the bloodstream, although the percentage of acarbose absorbed is around 2% of the drug amount taken orally.

10. Can you gain weight on acarbose?

Acarbose is usually associated with weight loss when combined with exercise and diet monitoring. Studies have shown weight loss, although not significant, following treatment with Acarbose. Other medication combined with acarbose can cause weight gain. You should inform your doctor if you experience any unusual weight gain. Consult our experts for weight management.

11. Is acarbose safe?

Usually, acarbose is safe at the dose and frequency prescribed by your doctor. There could be minor side effects that resolve without any medical attention. However, if any side effects persist or you experience any severe side effects, you should inform your doctor. Consult our medical experts for more information on the side effects of acarbose.

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.

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