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Side Effects of Acarbose

As with any medication, there are potential side effects of acarbose. A few common side effects of the drug include gas, diarrhea, and abdominal pain (or stomach pain). Most people, however, tolerate acarbose well. If you experience more serious side effects -- such as symptoms of high or low blood sugar, signs of an allergic reaction, or severe diarrhea -- you should report them to your healthcare provider.

Side Effects of Acarbose: An Introduction

As with any medicine, there are possible side effects with acarbose (Precose®). However, not everyone who takes acarbose will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate acarbose well. When acarbose side effects do occur, in most cases they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
(The side effects of acarbose discussed below are not a complete list of side effects reported with acarbose. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of Acarbose

Acarbose has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occur in a group of people taking the drug are documented and compared to side effects that occur in another group of people not taking the medicine. Based on these studies, the most common side effects of acarbose include:
  • Gas -- up to 74 percent of people
  • Diarrhea -- up to 31 percent of people
  • Abdominal pain (or stomach pain) -- up to 19 percent of people.
Undigested carbohydrates in the intestines cause these side effects. Starting with a low acarbose dose and slowly increasing the dose can reduce your risk of these side effects. Eating fewer carbohydrates can also reduce these symptoms.
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Acarbose Medication

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