Acarbose is an active ingredient for lowering blood sugar after meals. It is therefore one of the drugs that are used therapeutically in the context of the disease type 2 diabetes mellitus.

What is acarbose?

Acarbose is one of the medicines used therapeutically for diabetes mellitus type 2.

Acarbose itself is a sugar and is obtained through the process of fermentation from the parent Actinoplanes utahensis. Its special structure makes it possible for it to work against diabetes.

The corresponding drug is said to slow down the breakdown of the sugar after eating and regulate the uptake of glucose by the body. This avoids an immediate increase in blood sugar levels. Acarbose is currently served as tablets with different dosages.

In addition, the preparations are regularly provided with other ingredients to normalize the insulin level. Less commonly, administration is in the form of a white powder. As such, however, the remedy would also be soluble in water and could therefore be administered to children or persons with dysphagia.

Pharmacological action

The food entering the stomach and the intestinal tract is processed by the organism. Here, among other things, the glucose and carbohydrates are split. These can enter the bloodstream through the intestinal walls and cause an increase in blood sugar levels there.

Such a deficiency is particularly severe in diabetic patients. Such fluctuations - rapid increase and equally rapid decrease - of the insulin level should avoid acarbose. The resulting alpha-glucosidases are bound by the acarbose. In this process, sugar or carbohydrates split and become inactive. They can not enter the bloodstream anymore.

The increase in insulin levels is thereby at least slowed down after meals and is thus no longer exposed to significant fluctuations. For a similar process, sucrose has been used more frequently in recent decades. In contrast to acarbose, however, it has a significantly lower binding value of glucose. In addition, the drug is taken orally and only as an adjunct to general diabetes therapy. It is thus dependent on the individual case diagnosis whether the acarbose is administered.

Medical application & use

In general diabetes control, acarbose only has a supportive value. This is mainly because of the product-induced interaction with other drugs. Thus, in addition to the sugar, the active ingredient of the other preparations can be bound.

This, in turn, would generally prevent or at least slow down a cure. Acarbose is therefore not a fundamental component for the relief of diabetes. If prescribed, it should be taken before each of the main meals. In these cases, administration of 200 to 300 milligrams of acarbose would be common for adults. In addition, the overall medical condition of the patient determines a prescription. If there are damage to the kidneys or the gastrointestinal tract, the product should not be used.

Likewise, the therapy is to be completed under medical supervision. The acarbose can not be used preventively. Rather, it achieves the healing effect only by the regular ingestion before each food intake. Weaning over a few days may therefore have serious adverse effects on the patient's diabetes. A repeated fluctuation of the blood sugar value would then be expected.

Risks & Side Effects

Acarbose must not be prescribed for the already mentioned damage of the organs. Also, a general hypersensitivity of the patient in terms of medication is to be determined in advance. In addition, the drug can develop some side effects.

These are primarily in increased flatulence, in complaints of the stomach area, in occasional vomiting and diarrhea, and in a mild heartburn. If, in addition to the acarbose, other drugs are used for diabetes therapy, an undesirable interaction may arise between the individual preparations. In this case, the respective effect of the individual products would be inhibited.

The medical advice must therefore be obeyed in any case. However, not every side effect that occurs at the beginning of treatment does not have to last permanently. In many cases, an improvement of the initial symptoms can already be seen after about three to five days. The organism then became accustomed to the mechanism of action of acarbose. Tags: 

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