Drug: ACARBOSE - ORAL (AY-kar-bose)

Acarbose is used along with a proper diet and exercise program to control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Acarbose works by slowing the breakdown of starch (carbohydrates) from the food you eat into sugar, so that your blood sugar level does not rise as much after a meal.Acarbose may be used with other medications (e.g., insulin, metformin, sulfonylureas such as glipizide) to control diabetes because they work in different ways.

Source: http://www.medicinenet.com

Diarrhea, gas, upset stomach, constipation, or stomach pain may occur in the first few weeks of treatment as your body adjusts to this medication but usually improve with time. Follow your prescribed diet to help lessen these side effects. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: unusual tiredness, persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine.Acarbose does not cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). However, this effect can occur if you also take other anti-diabetic drugs (e.g., sulfonylureas, insulin) and if you do not consume enough calories from food or if you do unusually heavy exercise. Symptoms of low blood sugar include cold sweat, blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness, shaking, fast heartbeat, headache, fainting, tingling of the hands/feet, and hunger. Do not use table sugar (also called cane sugar or sucrose) to relieve these symptoms because acarbose delays its breakdown. Carry glucose tablets or gel with you to treat low blood sugar. If you are in a situation where you don't have these reliable forms of glucose, eat some honey or drink a glass of orange juice (sources of another sugar, fructose) to quickly raise your blood sugar level. Tell your doctor about the reaction immediately. To help prevent low blood sugar, eat meals on a regular schedule, and do not skip meals. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out what you should do if you miss a meal.Symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) include thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, flushing, rapid breathing, and fruity breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor immediately. Your dosage may need to be increased or you may need other drugs.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Source: http://www.medicinenet.com

Store at room temperature below 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada). Information last revised March 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
Last Editorial Review: 4/16/2014

Source: http://www.medicinenet.com

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: activated charcoal, digestive enzyme products (e.g., amylase, pancreatin).If you are currently using any of these medications listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting acarbose.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: pramlintide.Beta-blocker medications (e.g., metoprolol, propranolol, glaucoma eye drops such as timolol) may prevent the fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when your blood sugar level falls too low (hypoglycemia). Other symptoms of low blood sugar such as dizziness, hunger, and sweating are unaffected by these drugs.Many drugs can affect your blood sugar levels, making it more difficult to control your blood sugar. Before you start, stop, or change any medication, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how the medication may affect your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor about the results and of any symptoms of high or low blood sugar. (See also Side Effects section.) Your doctor may need to adjust your anti-diabetic medication, exercise program, or diet.This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

Source: http://www.medicinenet.com

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