Drug information of Acarbose


Drug group: blood sugar

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.

Mechanism of effect

In contrast to sulfonylureas, Acarbose tablets do not enhance insulin secretion. The antihyperglycemic action of Acarbose results from a competitive, reversible inhibition of pancreatic alpha-amylase and membrane-bound intestinal alpha-glucoside hydrolase enzymes. In diabetic patients, this enzyme inhibition results in a delayed glucose absorption and a lowering of postprandial hyperglycemia.


Acarbose is a complex oligosaccharide that delays the digestion of ingested carbohydrates, thereby resulting in a smaller rise in blood glucose concentration following meals. As a consequence of plasma glucose reduction, Acarbose tablets reduce levels of glycosylated hemoglobin in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus .


Extremely low bioavailability. Less than 2% of an oral dose of acarbose was absorbed as active drug. Peak plasma concentrations of the active drug were achieved 1 hour after dosing


Usual Adult Dose for Diabetes Type 2 Individualize dose based on efficacy and tolerability: Initial dose: 25 mg orally 3 times a day -Adjust dose at 4 to 8 week intervals based on efficacy and tolerability Maintenance dose: 50 mg to 100 mg orally 3 times a day Maximum dose: Weight 60 kg or less: 50 mg orally 3 times a day; Weight greater than 60 kg: 100 mg orally 3 times a day


Because Acarbose given in combination with a sulfonylurea or insulin will cause a further lowering of blood glucose, it may increase the potential for hypoglycemia.

Points of recommendation

Take with food, at beginning of each meal. (with first bite)

Pregnancy level


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