Precose

DRUG DESCRIPTION

PRECOSE® (acarbose tablets) is an oral alpha-glucosidase inhibitor for use in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Acarbose is an oligosaccharide which is obtained from fermentation processes of a microorganism, Actinoplanes utahensis, and is chemically known as O-4,6-dideoxy-4-[[(lS,4R,5S,6S)-4,5,6-trihydroxy-3-(hydroxymethyl)-2-cyclohexen-l-yl]amino]-?-D-glucopyranos yl-(l ? 4)-O-?-D-glucopyranosyl-(l ? 4)-D-glucose. It is a white to off-white powder with a molecular weight of 645.6. Acarbose is soluble in water and has a pKa of 5.1. Its empirical formula is C25H43NO18 and its chemical structure is as follows:

PRECOSE®
  (acarbose) Structural Formula Illustration

PRECOSE (acarbose) is available as 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg tablets for oral use. The inactive ingredients are starch, microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate, and colloidal silicon dioxide.

What are the possible side effects of acarbose (Precose)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these liver symptoms:

  • low fever;
  • nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
  • dark urine, clay-colored stools; or
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild stomach pain, gas, bloating;
  • diarrhea; or
  • ...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Precose »

What are the precautions when taking acarbose (Precose)?

Before taking acarbose, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: very high blood sugar levels (diabetic ketoacidosis), severe liver disease (cirrhosis), intestine/bowel problems (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal blockage/ulcers, digestion/absorption disorders).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease.

You may experience blurred vision,...

Read All Potential Precautions of Precose »


Precose Consumer (continued)

SIDE EFFECTS: Diarrhea, gas, upset stomach, or stomach pain may occur in the first few weeks of treatment as your body adjusts to this medication but usually improve with time. Follow your prescribed diet to help lessen these side effects. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: unusual tiredness, persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine.

Acarbose does not cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). However, this effect can occur if you also take other anti-diabetic drugs (e.g., sulfonylureas, insulin) and if you do not consume enough calories from food or if you do unusually heavy exercise. Symptoms of low blood sugar include cold sweat, blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness, shaking, fast heartbeat, headache, fainting, tingling of the hands/feet, and hunger. Do not use table sugar (also called cane sugar or sucrose) to relieve these symptoms because acarbose delays its breakdown. Carry glucose tablets or gel with you to treat low blood sugar. If you are in a situation where you don't have these reliable forms of glucose, eat some honey or drink a glass of orange juice (sources of another sugar, fructose) to quickly raise your blood sugar level. Tell your doctor about the reaction immediately. To help prevent low blood sugar, eat meals on a regular schedule, and do not skip meals. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out what you should do if you miss a meal.

Symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) include thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, flushing, rapid breathing, and fruity breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor immediately. Your dosage may need to be increased or you may need other drugs.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

PRECAUTIONS: Before taking acarbose, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: very high blood sugar levels (diabetic ketoacidosis), severe liver disease (cirrhosis), intestine/bowel problems (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal blockage/ulcers, digestion/absorption disorders).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease.

You may experience blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness due to extremely low or high blood sugar levels. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages because they can increase the risk of developing low blood sugar.

It may be harder to control your blood sugar when your body is stressed (e.g., due to fever, infection, injury, or surgery). Consult your doctor because this may require a change in your treatment plan, medications, or blood sugar testing.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Your doctor may substitute insulin for this drug during your pregnancy. Follow all instructions carefully.

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


Precose Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Precose

Generic Name: acarbose (Pronunciation: ah KAR bose)

  • What is acarbose (Precose)?
  • What are the possible side effects of acarbose (Precose)?
  • What is the most important information I should know about acarbose (Precose)?
  • What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking acarbose (Precose)?
  • How should I take acarbose (Precose)?
  • What happens if I miss a dose (Precose)?
  • What happens if I overdose (Precose)?
  • What should I avoid while taking acarbose (Precose)?
  • What other drugs will affect acarbose (Precose)?
  • Where can I get more information?

What is acarbose (Precose)?

Acarbose slows the digestion of carbohydrates in the body, which helps control blood sugar levels.

Acarbose is used to treat type 2 diabetes. Acarbose is sometimes used in combination with insulin or other diabetes medications you take by mouth.

Acarbose may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of acarbose (Precose)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these liver symptoms:

  • low fever;
  • nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
  • dark urine, clay-colored stools; or
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild stomach pain, gas, bloating;
  • diarrhea; or
  • mild skin rash or itching.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about acarbose (Precose)?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to acarbose, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin). You also should not use acarbose if you have inflammatory bowel disease, an ulcer or blockage in your intestines, or cirrhosis of the liver.

Before taking acarbose, tell your doctor if you have liver disease, or any type of stomach or intestinal disorder.

Take acarbose with the first bite of a main meal, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

Your medication needs may change if you become sick or injured, if you have a serious infection, or if you have any type of surgery. Do not change your dose or stop taking acarbose without first talking to your doctor.

If you take acarbose with insulin or other diabetes medications, your blood sugar could get too low. Take care to keep your blood sugar from getting too low, causing hypoglycemia. You may have hypoglycemia if you skip a meal, exercise too long, drink alcohol, or are under stress. Symptoms of low blood sugar may include headache, nausea, hunger, confusion, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, blurred vision, fast heartbeat, sweating, tremor, or trouble concentrating.

Keep a supply of oral glucose (dextrose) with you in case you have low blood sugar. While you are taking acarbose, candy or table sugar (sucrose) may not work as well as dextrose in quickly raising your blood sugar. Also be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.

Acarbose is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. It is important to use this medicine regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

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