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Precautions and Warnings With Acarbose

Some Precautions and Warnings With Acarbose

Some acarbose warnings and precautions to be aware of include:
  • When used alone, acarbose does not cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). However, taking acarbose with insulin or certain diabetes drugs called sulfonylureas can increase your risk of low blood sugar. Although acarbose is approved for use with these diabetes medications, caution should be taken to avoid low blood sugar (see Acarbose and Blood Sugar). Sulfonylureas can include:



  • Because acarbose slows down the absorption of sucrose (also known as table sugar, or the type of sugar that is in most food and drinks), glucose tablets (instead of food or drinks) should be used to help correct low blood sugar in people taking acarbose.
  • Acarbose has been reported to cause increased liver enzymes in up to 14 percent of people taking the medicine. Usually, these increases are temporary and do not cause any harm. However, acarbose has caused liver damage (including hepatitis) in rare cases.
  • The kidneys help to clear acarbose from the body. Therefore, people with severe kidney problems (including kidney failure) should not take acarbose.
  • Fever, infections, injury, or surgery can temporarily increase blood sugar, even in people with well-controlled diabetes. Acarbose may not be enough to treat your diabetes at these times, and the use of insulin may be required. Contact your healthcare provider if you have a fever, infection, or injury -- or if you will be having surgery. Also, make sure you know the symptoms of high blood sugar and how to check your blood sugar levels (see Acarbose and Blood Sugar for more information).
  • Acarbose can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Acarbose).
  • Acarbose is considered pregnancy Category B medication. This means that acarbose is probably safe for use during pregnancy. However, you should talk with your healthcare provider before using acarbose during pregnancy (see Acarbose and Pregnancy for more information).
  • It is not known if acarbose passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about this.
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Acarbose Medication

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