Highlights for acarbose
acarbose Side Effects
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- dark urine
- loss of appetite
- unusually weak or tired
- weight loss
- yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- bloated feeling
- stomach gas, rumbling
- stomach pain, upset
acarbose May Interact with Other Medications
- digestive enzymes like amylase and pancreatin
- female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills
- medicines for colds or breathing difficulties like pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine
- medicines for high blood pressure called beta-blockers and calcium channel-blockers
- nicotinic acid
- phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
- steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone
- thyroid hormones
How to Use acarbose
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets at the start of a main meal. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking this medicine except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.
If you develop severe vomiting or severe diarrhea that prevents you from eating meals, call your doctor or health care professional for advice.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- stomach or bowel disease, or obstruction
- an unusual or allergic reaction to acarbose, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
If you forgot your dose at the start of your meal and you are still eating that meal, take your dose while you are still eating. Otherwise, skip the missed dose. This medicine is not effective if not taken during a meal. Wait for your next dose at your next main meal, and take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress.
A test called the HbA1C (A1C) will be monitored. This is a simple blood test. It measures your blood sugar control over the last 2 to 3 months. You will receive this test every 3 to 6 months.
Learn how to check your blood sugar. Learn the symptoms of low and high blood sugar and how to manage them.
Always carry a quick-source of sugar with you in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar. Examples include hard sugar candy or glucose tablets. Make sure others know that you can choke if you eat or drink when you develop serious symptoms of low blood sugar, such as seizures or unconsciousness. They must get medical help at once.
Tell your doctor or health care professional if you have high blood sugar. You might need to change the dose of your medicine. If you are sick or exercising more than usual, you might need to change the dose of your medicine.
Do not skip meals. Ask your doctor or health care professional if you should avoid alcohol. Many nonprescription cough and cold products contain sugar or alcohol. These can affect blood sugar.
It is important to follow a diabetic diet when taking this medicine. This may help decrease some of the side effects like diarrhea, bloating, and gas. If you are following the diet and you still have severe diarrhea or gas, contact your health care professional.
Wear a medical ID bracelet or chain, and carry a card that describes your disease and details of your medicine and dosage times.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature below 25 degrees C (77 degrees F). protect from moisture. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
Last Updated: January 2, 2014