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Precose (Acarbose)

An Overview Of Precose

Precose is a drug that is especially created to help diabetics manage type 2 diabetes mellitus, and it must be used along with regular physical exercise and a balanced, nutritious diet. People who suffer from type 2 diabetes must control their blood sugar level, otherwise this may lead to blindness, kidney damage, stroke, heart attack or loss of limbs. This generic, prescription drug was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1995, and it comes in tablets of 25mg, 50mg and 100mg.

Drug Description

Precose belongs to a group of medicines known as alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, and it can be used alone or combined with various other antidiabetic drugs. Precose is an oral medication, and the active ingredient is Acarbose, which aims to balance the blood sugar levels after each meal by slowing the breaking of carbohydrates. The mechanism is simple: after they are ingested, carbohydrates are slowly digested by enzymes into small sugars (also referred to as "oligosaccharides"), which are then absorbed into the body.

The enzymes are released by the pancreas into the intestines, and this is where digestion takes place. The small sugars cause increased blood sugar levels, and for this reason diabetics experience blood sugar spikes after each meal. Precose contains man-made enzymes that are created to slow down the action of naturally occurring enzymes, therefore slowing the absorption of sugar in the blood stream after meals.

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Follow the indications offered by your health care provider, and take this drug exactly as directed. Precose must be taken before every main meal and the usual dose is of 25mg, three times a day, while the regular maintenance dose is between 50 and 100mg, three times a day. The initial dose is usually increased every four to eight weeks, according to the patient's tolerance to medicine and body response.


Even though it is generally safe to take Precose if you use other drugs for diabetes control, such as insulin or metformin (which work differently than Acarbose), it is highly recommended to inform your doctor about all the medications you are taking before starting the treatment with Precose. This drug may interfere with certain medications and give serious side effects - if you use activated charcoal or products that contain digestive enzymes, then you must avoid using Precose. Also, make sure to inform your doctor or pharmacist about any herbal or nonprescription drug that you use. Moreover, you must also let your doctor know if you are allergic to one or more ingredients of the product, both active and inactive.

Those who suffer from cirrhosis, absorption disorder, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetic ketoacidosis or severe kidney problems must inform their doctor or pharmacist. In some cases, Precose may be contraindicated as it can worsen the existing conditions. In addition to this, patients who use Precose should avoid driving, operating heavy machinery or performing any other tasks that require increased attention and alertness. The intake of alcoholic beverages must also be limited, as they can interfere with the blood sugar level and cause a sudden drop.

If you are pregnant or you are breast-feeding, you should avoid using Precose unless the doctor suggests otherwise. Besides, you must fully discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before starting the treatment, as your health care provider may suggest other drugs that are less dangerous during pregnancy.

Potential Side Effects Of Precose

Just like any other medication available on the market, Precose can give several adverse reactions that range from mild to severe. Even though many people do not feel any bothersome side effects associated with Precose, others experience some mild adverse reactions such as diarrhea, constipation, gas, dizziness, drowsiness, slightly blurred vision, upset stomach or pain. These symptoms usually occur within the first several days of treatment, as your body needs some time to get used to the treatment. However, if the symptoms persist then you must seek medical attention right away.

It is very rare for patients to experience serious adverse reactions to the treatment with Precose, and the most severe side effects include persistent vomiting, severe abdominal pain, dark urine, rectal bleeding, yellowing of the skin and eyes. These symptoms are serious and you must consult your health care provider as soon as you notice one or more of the adverse reactions mentioned above.

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