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Acarbose

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors Glucobay Adult

Acarbose - What is it for

Acarbose is used to manage diabetes by slowing down the breakdown of carbohydrates to simple sugars. It slows down the absorption of glucose from the digestive system and thus prevents the rise of blood sugar after a meal.

Acarbose - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Acarbose cause?

Flatulence (passing gas or wind) is a common side effect that patients experience with this medication. It may also cause stomach discomfort, bloating or diarrhoea. However, these symptoms should get better over time. Check with your doctor if any of these symptoms are serious or do not go away.

Very rarely, this medication can injure or damage the liver. Stop this medication and see a doctor immediately if you notice dark brown urine or light coloured stools (pale grey/ clay coloured) , or if you experience nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain or yellowing of your eyes or skin.

Before taking Acarbose, what precautions must I follow?

​Inform your doctor if:

  • you are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • you have a heart condition, kidney or liver problem
  • you drink alcohol often
  • you are eating less than usual due to sickness/ changed diet as your dosage may need to be changed

If your doctor has informed you that you need to do a fasting blood test, skip your medication until after you have your blood taken and are ready to eat.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Acarbose?

​Avoid taking alcohol with this medication.                             

Avoid food and drink containing sucrose or cane sugar while you are on this medication, as they can often cause stomach discomfort and diarrhoea due to the increased carbohydrate breakdown in the large intestine.

Acarbose - Dosage and How to Use

How should Acarbose be used?

Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water immediately before the meal or chew the tablet with the first mouthful of food.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

​If you miss a dose, take your next dose immediately before your next meal and skip the dose you missed. Do not double your dose or use extra medication to make up for the missed dose.

What should I do if I overdose?

If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately.

Acarbose - Handling and Storage

How should I handle Acarbose safely?

How should I store Acarbose?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

How should I dispose of Acarbose safely?

​Pack this medicine into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.

Acarbose - Additional Information

  • Updated on Thursday, May 30, 2019
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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