Acarbose – effective treatment for diabetes and weight loss
Acarbose has a unique mechanism of action in that it reduces blood sugar peaks and slows the absorption of glucose in our bodies. This reduces food cravings and makes Acarbose an ideal drug for diabetics or anyone wanting to loose weight. Acarbose has a different mechanism of action to loperamide, which addresses conditions associated with diarrhoea.
Acarbose helps lower the risk of kidney failure and heart disease associated with high blood glucose levels. Taken daily, regular acarbose dosage provides a more stable supply of essential blood sugars. This mechanism of action ensures you feel full for longer, and counters the damage caused by excessive insulin. Put simply, Acarbose allows diabetes sufferers to live more normal lives.
ACARBOSE / GLUCOBAY ®
Tablets, each containing 50 mg acarbose. The tablets also contain starch, cellulose, magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide. Glucobay 50 comes in packs of 90 tablets. Glucobay 50 contains acarbose which is one of a group of substances known as glucosidase inhibitors which are used to treat diabetes.
Why have I been prescribed Glucobay 50 by my doctor?
This medicine has been prescribed for you by your doctor to treat your diabetes. Glucobay will help to control your blood sugar levels. This is because Glucobay works by slowing down the digestion of carbohydrates (complex sugars) from your diet, and this reduces the abnormally high blood sugar levels that occur after each meal.
When should I not take Glucobay?
Do not take this medicine if you have previously had an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients. If you are unsure about this ask your doctor. Do not take this medicine if you are under 12 years of age. Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. If you are taking Glucobay and think that you may be pregnant, or are planning a family, consult your doctor. You should not take Glucobay if you have any of the following medical conditions:
- If you suffer from inflammation or ulceration of the bowel, e.g. ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
- If you have, or are susceptible to, an obstruction in your intestines
- If you have a liver disorder.
- If you have an intestinal disease whereby you do not digest or absorb food properly.
- If you have a large hernia or any other condition where increased gas in your intestine may make it worse.
- If you have a kidney disorder do not take Glucobay without consulting your doctor first.
- If you are unsure whether you might have any of these conditions, please ask your doctor.
What special precautions should I take?
Treating hypoglycemic episodes (“hypos”). As a diabetic you may also be receiving other treatments for your diabetes. If you are taking insulin or sulphonylurea drugs to control your blood sugar, you will probably be used to avoiding hypoglycemic episodes by taking sugar when you feel that your blood sugar level is too low.
WHEN TAKING GLUCOBAY DO NOT TREAT A HYPOGLYCAEMIC EPISODE WITH ORDINARY SUGAR (SUCROSE). INSTEAD TAKE SOME GLUCOSE (ALSO KNOWN AS DEXTROSE) TABLETS, SYRUP, OR SWEETS WHICH SHOULD BE AVAILABLE FROM YOUR LOCAL PHARMACIST.
This medicine may affect the levels of certain proteins called enzymes in your blood. Your doctor may wish to see you more frequently in order to monitor the levels of these enzymes. Glucobay may alter the effect of other drugs or, alternatively, some drugs may alter the effect of Glucobay. If you are using any of the following drugs, speak to your doctor or pharmacist before taking this medicine:
- Drugs known as intestinal adsorbents e.g. charcoal.
- Drugs to help your digestion (digestive enzyme preparations).
- The antibiotic, neomycin.
- Cholestyramine, a drug used to treat high cholesterol.
When and how do I take Glucobay?
To gain the maximum benefit from Glucobay you should adhere to the diet prescribed for you by your doctor. This will also help in reducing any side effects you may experience. Take the tablets as prescribed by your doctor. This will normally be one or two tablets taken with meals three times a day. However, when you first start your treatment, your doctor may recommend that you take your tablets once or twice a day before increasing your dose to three times a day. This medicine is intended for long-term use. Glucobay tablets should be chewed with the first mouthful of food. If you prefer not to chew the tablets then swallow them whole with a little liquid immediately before the meal-
DO NOT EXCEED THE PRESCRIBED DOSE.
If you do exceed the prescribed dose, or in the event of an overdose, you may experience diarrhea and other intestinal symptoms such as flatulence (wind) and abdominal pain. If you take more than the prescribed dose, or in the event of an overdose, avoid the intake of carbohydrate containing food or drinks and seek medical advice immediately. If possible, take your tablets or the pack with you to show the doctor.
What should I do if I miss one or more doses?
If you forget to take one or more doses of Glucobay do not take the tablets between meals but in- stead, wait until your next scheduled dose and meal and continue as before.
What undesirable effects may I experience?
During the first few days or weeks of treatment with Glucobay you may experience increased flatulence (wind), rumbling in your stomach, a feeling of fullness and possibly abdominal cramps. It is also possible that you may pass softer stools or even experience diarrhea, particularly after a meal containing sugar or sucrose containing foods. Normally, these symptoms will disappear if you continue treatment and keep to your prescribed diet.
DO NOT TAKE INDIGESTION (ANTACID) PREPARATIONS FOR TREATING THESE SYMPTOMS, AS THEY ARE UNLIKELY TO HAVE ANY BENEFICIAL EFFECT. IF YOUR SYMPTOMS PERSIST FOR MORE THAN 2 OR 3 DAYS, OR IF THEY ARE SEVERE, CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR, PARTICULARLY IN THE CASE OF DIARRHOEA.
Less common side effects include inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), jaundice (yellowing of the skin) and skin reactions such as redness, rash and urticaria (hives). Glucobay tablets may cause an increase in the levels of certain proteins called enzymes in your blood. These effects go away when treatment is stopped.
IF YOU EXPERIENCE ANY UNDESIRABLE EFFECTS, TELL YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY. YOUR DOCTOR WILL GIVE YOU ADVICE.
How should I store my Glucobay tablets?
It is best if you keep your tablets in the original carton supplied. The tablets should be kept in a dry place where the temperature is not likely to exceed 25°C. KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN. Do not use tablets beyond the expiry date that is marked on both the outer container and on each blister strip of tablets. If you find that you have tablets after their expiry date, return them to your local pharmacist who will dispose of them properly.
REMEMBER: THIS MEDICINE HAS BEEN PRESCRIBED FOR YOU. DO NOT GIVE IT TO ANYONE ELSE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS ABOUT TAKING GLUCOBAY CORRECTLY SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR DOCTOR.
Date of Preparation: February 1999
Product License Number: PL 0010/0171
The above information is the translation of the manufacturer’s insert. It is provided under the supplying company’s terms and conditions and should not replace the advice of your personal physician.
MADE IN EU