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If you have type 2 diabetes, your healthcare provider may prescribe acarbose to help control your blood sugar levels. The medication works by slowing the digestion of carbohydrates from the diet, which helps to decrease the rise in blood sugar that usually happens after meals. Some of the conditions you should let your healthcare provider know about prior to taking acarbose include kidney or liver problems, inflammatory bowel disease, and any allergies you may have. A few common side effects include gas, diarrhea, and abdominal pain (or stomach pain).

What Is Acarbose?

Acarbose (Precose®) is a prescription medication that is used to treat type 2 diabetes (also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes).
 
(Click What Is Acarbose Used For? for more information on what it is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Side Effects of Acarbose

As with any medicine, there are possible side effects with acarbose. However, not everyone who takes it will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it well. When 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.
 
Some of the most common side effects of acarbose include:
 
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain (or stomach pain).
     
(Click Side Effects of Acarbose to learn about the specific side effects of this drug, including serious side effects to look out for.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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