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Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.





This medication is used along with diet in the treatment of diabetes. Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent heart disease, strokes, kidney disease, circulation problems, and blindness.

How To Use

This medication should be taken by mouth, at the beginning (with the first bites) of each main meal, or as directed. For best results, this medication must be used along with a proper diet and a regular exercise program. Your dose may be adjusted every 4-8 weeks to determine the most effective dose for you. Follow dosing instructions closely.

Side Effects

Gas, bloating or diarrhea may occur with this drug. If any of these effects continue or become severe, inform your doctor promptly. Very unlikely but report promptly: yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine, stomach pain, nausea. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Before taking this, tell your doctor if you have: iron deficiency, kidney disease, liver disease, stomach/digestive or intestinal disorders, any allergies. During times of stress such as fever, infection, injury or surgery, it may be more difficult to control your blood sugar. Consult your doctor as additional medication may be required. Consult your pharmacist to learn the symptoms of high or low blood sugar. Some symptoms of high blood sugar include thirst and increased urination. Low blood sugar may cause you to feel shaky, sweaty, hungry or have an increased pulse. Because acarbose prevents the breakdown of table sugar, patients should have a readily available source of glucose (such as glucose tablets) to treat symptoms of low blood sugar if taking acarbose in combination with other medications to treat diabetes. This medication should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This medication is not recommended for use by nursing women.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of any nonprescription or prescription medication you may take, particularly: "water pills" (diuretics), thyroid hormone, steroids, digoxin, estrogen hormone, birth control pills, phenytoin, isoniazid, other drugs that treat diabetes, phenothiazines (e.g., chlorpromazine), niacin, adrenalin-like drugs (e.g., albuterol, metaproterenol, pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine), calcium blockers (e.g., nifedipine, verapamil, diltiazem), certain digestive aids (e.g., amylase, pancreatin). Additionally, this drug may decrease the effectiveness of metformin. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.


If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include gas, diarrhea, and stomach discomfort.


Do not share this medication with others. It is recommended you attend a diabetes education program to understand diabetes and all important aspects of its treatment including meals/diet, exercise, personal hygiene, medications and getting regular eye, foot, and medical exams. Consult your doctor or pharmacist. Keep all medical appointments. Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., liver and kidney function tests, fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c, complete blood counts) will be performed to monitor for side effects and response to therapy. Regularly check your blood or urine for sugar, as directed by your doctor or pharmacist.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as remembered; do not take it if it is near the time for the next dose. Instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.


Store this at a room temperature no higher than 77 degrees F (25 C) away from heat and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).