Acarbose review

Acarbose is a generic name for a drug that also goes by the brand name Glucobay. Acarbose is used in conjunction with diet to lower blood sugar in people who have type 2 diabetes mellitus and cannot control it with diet alone. Acarbose is given in pills and can also be used along with a sulfonylurea or with insulin when diet plus Acarbose is still not enough to keep blood sugar down. It is in a class of medications called alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, which means that it keeps the body from processing carbohydrates efficiently. This results in a smaller and more gradual release of blood sugar throughout the day. Acarbose is not intended to work by itself. Acarbose is not to be used as a substitute for diet and exercise, but in addition to it. The first line of defense for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus is always diet and lifestyle. In some severe cases, diet and lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to keep blood sugar controlled, so Acarbose is prescribed as a secondary, assisting measure.

The most common side effects of Acarbose are gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and flatulence. Most studies have shown that these symptoms tend to get better with time. These side effects will be much worse for those who are not following a prescribed diet and yet are still taking Acarbose. Other serious but rare effects include skin rash or hives, fatigue, weight loss or appetite loss, dark or brownish urine, or loss of appetite. You should also let your doctor know if you have hiatal hernia, kidney or liver disease, stomach or bowel disease, any kind of bowel obstruction, or allergies of any sort

Some drugs should not be taken at the same time as Acarbose. These drugs include thiazides or other diuretics, oral contraceptives, thyroid treatments, estrogens, phenytoin, sympathomimetics, nicotinic acid, calcium channel blockers, and isoniazid. If you do take these drugs at the same time as Acarbose, you should be monitored carefully to make sure your blood sugar doesn’t become uncontrolled. If you are receiving sulfonylureas or insulin at the same time as Acarbose, you may find that your blood sugar is too low, which could in extreme cases lead to hypoglycemic shock. It has also been shown that intestinal absorbents such as charcoal may reduce the effect of Acarbose. If you’re taking digoxin along with Acarbose, your doctor may wish to reduce your dose of digoxin.

Acarbose is in Pregnancy Category B, which means that it is not known whether it is safe to take during pregnancy or not. Animal tests suggest that it is largely safe, but animal tests do not always predict the outcome accurately for humans, so Acarbose should be avoided by pregnant women. It is not yet known whether Acarbose is effective or safe in breast milk, but studies indicate that it does pass into the mother’s milk. Therefore, Acarbose should not be administered to nursing women. It has also not been evaluated for use in children.

Acarbose has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of acarbose

• Molecular formula of acarbose is C25H45N3O16
• Chemical IUPAC Name is (2R,3R,4S,5R,6R)-5-[(2R,3R,4S,5R,6R)-5-[(2R,3R,4S,5R,6R)-3,4- dihydroxy-6-methyl-5-[[(1S,4S,5S,6S)-4,5,6-trihydroxy-3-(hydroxymethyl)-1- cyclohex-2-enyl]amino]oxan-2-yl]oxy-3,4-dihydroxy-6-(hydroxymethyl) oxan-2-yl]oxy-6-(hydroxymethyl)oxane-2,3,4-triol
• Molecular weight is 643.635 g/mol
Acarbose available : 25mg tablets, 50mg tablets, 100mg tablets

Brand name(s): Glucobay, Prandase, Precose

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