Acarbose is used to treat diabetes. This medicine helps treat your diabetes by keeping your blood sugar in control.
Acarbose is meant to be taken as part of a complete diabetes care programme that should include exercise, a healthy diet and regular monitoring of blood sugar levels.
Take Acarbose exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
This medicine should be taken at the start of the meal with the first mouthful of food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Acarbose must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- severe liver disease
- colon disease
- intestine disease
as Acarbose may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have kidney disease.
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor may need to do blood tests to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
If you are taking Acarbose with other types of anti-diabetic medicines, you may have been warned about hypoglycaemia. Hypoglycaemia is the medical term for low blood sugar. Acarbose itself does not usually cause hypoglycaemia, but it may increase the hypoglycaemic effect of other anti-diabetic medicines.
How do I know if I am experiencing hypoglycaemia?
Some of the symptoms of hypoglycaemia include dizziness, headache, shaky hands, feeling hungry, weak or confused, problems speaking. These symptoms are your body's way of warning you that your blood sugar is dangerously low.
It is important to recognise these symptoms and get relief for hypoglycaemia quickly, as the hypoglycaemia could get worse and you might faint.
What should I do if I am experiencing hypoglycaemia?
Always carry some glucose tablets (also known as dextrose tablets) with you. Take a tablet at the first sign of hypoglycaemia. As Acarbose prevents the digestion of other kinds of sugar, only glucose (dextrose) tablets should be used to treat hypoglycaemia if you are on Acarbose.
Acarbose may cause any of the following side effects: diarrhoea and stomach wind or pain.
These side effects are to be expected and will get better as you get used to this medicine. You will also find that the stomach discomfort will be reduced if you follow closely the diabetic diet prescribed by your doctor or nutritionist.
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking or using any of these medicines:
- other medicines for diabetes e.g. insulin
- medicines for heart disease e.g. digoxin
- medicines for digestion disorder e.g. pancreatin
- medicines for bacterial infections e.g. neomycin
Inform your doctor if you are currently taking birth control pills as this can reduce the effectiveness of Acarbose. You should not stop or start any birth control pills without first informing your doctor. Ask your doctor about using non-hormonal birth control as an alternative while being treated with this medicine.
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Acarbose.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.