Brand Name (Generic Name)
What are Alpha-glucosidase Inhibitors?
Alpha glucosidase inhibitors are a class of oral medications that block the enzymes that digest starches. They help treat type 2 diabetes by causing a slower and lower rise of blood glucose through the day, mainly right after meals. There are now two alpha-glucosidase inhibitors: acarbose (AK-er-bose) and miglitol (MIG-leh-tall).
Who can take them? Who can't?
Adults with type 2 diabetes can take alpha glucosidase inhibitors with their doctor's approval and supervision. You should avoid them if you have a history of gastrointestinal disease.
What dosage can I take and how should I take it?
The initial dosage is 25 mg, 3 times a day. This is adjusted at 4-8 week intervals and can increase to 50 or 100 mg. They are taken orally in tablet form.
How often should I take acarbose or miglitol?
Three times a day, at each meal. Your doctor might ask you to take the medicine less often at first.
When should I take acarbose or miglitol?
With the first bite of a meal.
What are possible side effects?
Taking this pill may cause stomach problems (gas, bloating, and diarrhea) that most often go away after you take the medicine for a while.
Are any other diabetes medications used with them?
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors can be used in combination with other medicines. You are encouraged to consult with your doctor to learn about the interactions between alpha-glucosidase inhibitors and medications you are taking.
What should I tell my doctor before taking alpha-glucosidase inhibitors?
Tell your doctor about any other medications you are on, as well as general allergies and allergies you have to the ingredients of acarbose or miglitol.
Reviewed by James A. Bennett 5/13.
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