Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is a test used to measure long-term blood sugar control. For people without diabetes, HbA1c results are usually less than 6 percent. People with diabetes usually have higher results. In one study, people taking acarbose lowered their HbA1c by 0.44 percent to 1 percent on average.
Studies have shown that the higher the HbA1c, the greater the chance of developing long-term problems related to diabetes. Some of these problems include heart disease, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic neuropathy, and diabetic nephropathy. By getting blood sugar levels under control with acarbose, it may be possible to decrease the chances of developing these diabetes complications.
Postprandial glucose is another way to study the effects of diabetes drugs. Postprandial glucose levels are blood sugar levels after meals. In previous studies, people who took acarbose lowered their postprandial blood glucose by up to 90 mg/dL on average.
When and How to Take AcarboseSome general considerations for when and how to take the medication include:
- Acarbose comes in tablet form. It should be taken by mouth.
- It should be taken with the first bite of each main meal (three times a day).
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.
Dosing InformationThe dosage your healthcare provider recommends will vary depending on a number of factors, including:
- How well your diabetes is controlled
- Other medical conditions you may have
- Other medications you may be currently taking.
As with any medication, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
(Click Acarbose Dosing for more information.)