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What Is Acarbose Used For?

Some people may wonder, "What is acarbose used for?" Acarbose is used to help lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. The medicine slows the digestion of carbohydrates from the diet, which helps to lower blood sugar levels after meals. Acarbose can help to decrease the risk of developing problems that can result from high blood sugar (such as kidney failure or heart disease). There are currently no universally accepted off-label uses of the medication.

What Is Acarbose Used For?

Acarbose (Precose®) is a prescription medication that is used to treat type 2 diabetes. It is part of a group of diabetes medications called alpha glucosidase inhibitors and is used to lower blood sugar after meals.
 
Acarbose should be used when blood sugar cannot be controlled by diet and exercise alone. Acarbose can be used alone or in combination with other diabetes medications, including metformin (Fortamet®, Glucophage®, Glucophage XR®, Glumetza®, Riomet®), insulin, or sulfonylureas (see Acarbose Alternatives for information about other medications for type 2 diabetes).
 

Using Acarbose for Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes (see Diabetes Types). It is also sometimes called adult-onset diabetes or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a condition involving insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, the cells of the body do not respond to insulin as well as they normally should. As a result, the cells do not take sugar out of the blood very well. This is why people with type 2 diabetes have high blood sugar.
 
Over time, high blood sugar can lead to a number of problems, including diabetic impotence, diabetic neuropathy, kidney failure, and heart disease (see Diabetes Complications). The cause of type 2 diabetes is not fully understood, though it is known that obesity and genetics play an important role in its development.
 
Acarbose is used for treating type 2 diabetes in people who cannot lower blood sugar through lifestyle changes (such as weight loss, diet, and exercise) alone. Acarbose is part of a class of diabetes drugs called alpha glucosidase inhibitors. The medication slows the digestion of carbohydrates from the diet, which helps to decrease the rise in blood sugar that usually happens after meals.
 
Common Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy

Acarbose Medication

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