Pay attention to the 7 acarbose side effects and how to eat

Acarbose side effects:

Acarbose side effects 1:Acarbose must be present in the small intestine with carbohydrates to exert its therapeutic effect. If a meal is delayed after taking the medication, its effectiveness may be reduced or even rendered ineffective.

Acarbose side effects 2:Common adverse reactions include bloating, increased gas, and diarrhea. If gastrointestinal discomfort occurs during treatment, it is important to differentiate between medication side effects and symptoms of the underlying disease. Starting with a low dose and gradually increasing it can reduce gastrointestinal adverse reactions. Controlling diet to reduce excessive carbohydrate intake may also help. If even a low dose is intolerable, discontinuation of the medication should be considered.

Pay attention to the 7 acarbose side effects and how to eat
Pay attention to the 7 acarbose side effects and how to eat

Acarbose side effects 3:Acarbose alone does not cause hypoglycemia, but when used with other antidiabetic medications, hypoglycemia may occur. In case of hypoglycemia, oral glucose is ineffective, and intravenous glucose infusion at a hospital is recommended.

Acarbose side effects 4:Some individuals, especially those using high doses, may experience elevated liver enzymes. Monitoring of liver enzymes should be considered during the first 6-12 months of treatment. Acute drug-induced liver injury may resolve quickly with discontinuation of the medication or symptomatic treatment for mild cases, while severe cases may require hospitalization.

Acarbose side effects 5:If skin itching, erythema, rash, or urticaria occur as allergic reactions, the medication should be stopped immediately. Treatment with anti-allergy medications such as antiemetics, antacids, oral prednisolone, or loratadine should be administered.

Acarbose side effects 6:Caution should be exercised in the use of acarbose in elderly individuals, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and patients with severe liver or kidney impairment.

Acarbose side effects 7:Acarbose can reduce the absorption of digoxin: Acarbose inhibits intestinal wall cells, reducing digoxin absorption. Additionally, acarbose can adsorb digoxin, further decreasing its absorption. Therefore, if a patient is taking digoxin, the use of acarbose should be avoided if possible. If co-administration is necessary, monitoring of digoxin blood levels is required.

How to eat Acarbose?

1.Eat with the first main meal:

Acarbose is an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor that works by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates to reduce postprandial blood sugar levels. Therefore, acarbose must be taken with the first main meal to be effective; it is not useful if consumed without a main meal. If a meal consists only of vegetables, meat, eggs, dairy, and soy products without any staple food, acarbose will have little effect and is not necessary. Common staple foods include rice, bread, noodles, sweet potatoes, corn, and other starchy foods.

2.Crush tablets and swallow capsules whole:

It is best to crush acarbose tablets and eat them with the main meal to thoroughly mix the medication with food, speeding up the reduction of postprandial blood sugar levels. Acarbose capsules should be swallowed whole before the main meal and should not be crushed.

3.If a dose is missed, take it within 30 minutes after a meal:

If you forget to take acarbose until after a meal, you can take the missed dose within 30 minutes after the meal. If more than 30 minutes have passed, there is no need to take the missed dose; just take the normal dose with the next meal. If you realize you missed a dose in the middle of a meal, you can take it immediately. If you have taken an overdose of acarbose, do not eat staple food for 4-6 hours after taking the medication.

4.If experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort, do not stop the medication:

If you experience gastrointestinal discomfort while taking acarbose, such as flatulence, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, or decreased appetite, do not stop the medication. Acarbose affects gastrointestinal function and these symptoms may occur, especially in the early stages of treatment, gradually reducing after one or two months. Massaging or applying a warm compress to the abdomen can help alleviate discomfort. Seek medical attention or consult a doctor if severe gastrointestinal discomfort or other symptoms occur.

5.Start with a small dose to reduce side effects:

To avoid or reduce gastrointestinal discomfort and other side effects, start with a small dose and gradually increase it. The initial dose of acarbose is 50 mg per dose, which can be gradually increased to 100 mg per dose, taken three times a day. In some cases, the dose may be increased to 200 mg per dose.

6.If experiencing hypoglycemia while taking acarbose, avoid staple foods:

Acarbose itself does not cause hypoglycemia. If hypoglycemia occurs when acarbose is used in combination with other oral antidiabetic drugs or insulin, immediately consume glucose or honey, and avoid consuming sucrose or starchy foods. Sucrose and starchy foods are complex sugars, and acarbose delays their sugar absorption, which cannot rapidly raise blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is important to remember this distinction!

During the treatment of diabetes, the patient should keep a good attitude and take proper exercise such as hiking. If there is a serious condition, it is recommended to go to a professional hospital for treatment.

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