Acarbose is used to manage diabetes by slowing down the breakdown of carbohydrates to simple sugars. It slows down the absorption of glucose from the digestive system and thus prevents the rise of blood sugar after a meal.
Flatulence (passing gas or wind) is a common side effect that patients experience with this medication. It may also cause stomach discomfort, bloating or diarrhoea. However, these symptoms should get better over time. Check with your doctor if any of these symptoms are serious or do not go away.
Very rarely, this medication can injure or damage the liver. Stop this medication and see a doctor immediately if you notice dark brown urine or light coloured stools (pale grey/ clay coloured) , or if you experience nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain or yellowing of your eyes or skin.
Inform your doctor if:
If your doctor has informed you that you need to do a fasting blood test, skip your medication until after you have your blood taken and are ready to eat.
Avoid taking alcohol with this medication.
Avoid food and drink containing sucrose or cane sugar while you are on this medication, as they can often cause stomach discomfort and diarrhoea due to the increased carbohydrate breakdown in the large intestine.
Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water immediately before the meal or chew the tablet with the first mouthful of food.
If you miss a dose, take your next dose immediately before your next meal and skip the dose you missed. Do not double your dose or use extra medication to make up for the missed dose.
If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately.
Pack this medicine into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.
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