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All About Acarbose

All About Acarbose
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

Medically reviewed by

Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 7 min read

Your digestive system breaks down complex carbohydrates from the foods you eat and turns it into sugar. This sugar is then passed into your blood through the walls in your small intestines. Acarbose is a medication that can help regulate the amount of sugar that gets into your blood. You may be thinking, "how does Acarbose work?" It works by keeping your body from digesting sugars. But there is more information to learn about this medication. 


Right now, your top question is probably, "how does Acarbose work?" Before you learn that, you need to understand a little about the medication. Acarbose is the generic version, while Precose is the brand name version. It is an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor. 


This medication is generally combined with a healthy diet and exercise routine to help people with type 2 diabetes reduce their blood sugar. It can be used alone or combined with other medications. 


Now to answer the big question, "how does Acarbose work?" Glucosidase is the enzyme in your body that converts the carbohydrates you eat into sugars. Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, such as Acarbose, work by preventing this enzyme from working. This helps prevent sugars from passing through the walls of your small intestine and into your blood. However, they do not stop the simple sugars you eat from passing into your blood. 


After answering the big question, "how does Acarbose work," we are left with another important topic, "how effective is it?" Clinic trials have reported that Acarbose does lower people's blood sugar levels. Patients who have been prescribed the recommended dose have reported that their blood sugars were immediately lowered. After taking these for long terms, many patients noticed that this immediate decrease was the lowest that their blood sugar got. However, non of these patients reported the number of carbs they were eating. Therefore, there is no way of knowing if these people were on low-carb or standard diets. 

Many weight-loss professionals, like the ones at Nu Image Medical, recommend taking Acarbose with other weight loss medications. This is because, even if you maintain a healthy carb intake, Acarbose can help lower the number of sugars your body digests. This way, you can eat more complex carbs and not develop fat. Also, animal testing has proposed that Acarbose can help prevent heart attacks and other issues that arise from having high levels of sugar in your blood. 


One of the benefits of Acarbose is that people who are restricted to a low-carb diet can enjoy the occasional indulgence. For instance, taking this medication with each meal to allow you to reduce the amount of sugar that enters your body after you eat complex carbs so that you can enjoy a few extra grams of carbs. This is one of the reasons that Acarbose has become famous for people who are trying to lose weight. 

Another benefit is that this medication can be taken for years without your body becoming tolerant. However, it generally works best for people who can produce at least some of their insulin. This is because Acarbose does not entirely prevent all sugars from entering your bloodstream. 


If you are considering Acarbose, it is essential to understand that this medication does not prevent your body from absorbing simple sugars because these will enter the bloodstream as soon as they hit your stomach. The carbohydrates from things like corn syrup, maple syrup, or candy will go into your bloodstream whether you are taking Acarbose or not. Instead, Acarbose will prevent your body from digesting complex carbohydrates from things like whole wheat flour, rice, and beans. 

Taking It

While "how does Acarbose work" is a great question, another important one to ask is, "how do you take it?" Acarbose is a pill you take by mouth. You take it with the first bite of each meal. If you do not ingest this medication with the first bite of your meal, it is much less effective. 


If you are satisfied knowing the answer to the question, "how does Acarbose work," you will also want to know some tips for taking this medication before you start your dosage. One important thing you must consider is that these tablets come in different strengths, so you need to know what you have been instructed to take with each meal and what strength your tablet is. It is also crucial that you store your medication in an airtight container and keep it at room temperature. Although this may make it sound like you are dealing with nitroglycerin, Acarbose is a safe medication that has been approved by the FDA. 


Typically, your weight loss specialist will start you on a lower dose of Acarbose and gradually get you to the standard dosage. This is designed to help get you used to the medication. Remember to take the entire amount with your first bite of each meal so that it can begin working immediately. 

Unlike other amounts, Acarbose is not absorbed by your body in any significant quantities. Instead, it works within the digestive tract and is excreted along with your undigested carbohydrates. 

Dietary Restrictions

For starters, you should avoid drinking alcohol. This can lower your blood sugar to a dangerous level. 

You should also avoid overloading your body with carbohydrates while taking Acarbose. Having too many carbs in your system will limit the effectiveness of this medication. Since Acarbose does not prevent your body from absorbing simple sugars, you will also want to skip deserts. 

Eligible Patients

Generally, Acarbose is prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes. This is because this medication can help people with type 2 diabetes enjoy meals with complex carbohydrates. It is also popular because it is safe with almost any other diabetes medication. 

At Nu Image Medical, Acarbose is part of the Wayt-Less weight loss program. This is because Acarbose can help suppress your appetite and control your cravings. Also, it helps regulate your blood sugar and can make digestion easier for your body. Plus, it will prevent your body from absorbing sugars and carbohydrates while decreasing your insulin resistance. This combination will help you lower your body mass. 

However, Acarbose is not for everyone. Generally, these are not advised for people under 18 years of age and women who are breastfeeding. You may also not want to take this medication if you have a severe digestive or liver disorder. 

Fake Drugs

There are quite a few over the counter medications that are labeled as starch blockers. Unlike Acarbose, these do not work. Test any of these products before you use them. If you take a starch blocker with 20 grams of carbs in a meal and do not get a lot of gas afterward, this is a fake blocker. This is because any undigested starch will get fermented by bacteria in your gut and produce gas. 

Acarbose is an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor. It is typically used to treat people who have type 2 diabetes. It is becoming increasingly popular in weight loss programs. Consult your doctor if you think this medication might be right for you. Be sure to mention your whole medical history. This is important in determining if you are an eligible patient and if this treatment is right for you. 

Nu Image Medical® offers a new and futuristic approach to achieving optimal health and wellness. The company has been a weight loss, anti-aging and wellness provider since 2004 and offers medically supervised programs for medical weight losspeptideserectile dysfunctionscream cream, and hair loss (NuDew) 

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.