Precose

Generic Name: Acarbose

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Precose is a medicine used along with diet and exercise to help control high blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Precose delays the breakdown of carbohydrates after each meal, thereby helping to control your blood sugar.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: Lowering your blood sugar to a normal level may prevent or delay potential complications associated with diabetes, such as blindness, kidney failure, or heart problems.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Precose exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    Check your blood sugar regularly and as per your healthcare provider's recommendations. Your healthcare provider will also do regular blood tests to measure your blood sugar levels and your hemoglobin A1C (which estimates your average blood sugar levels over a 2- to 3-month period). Stay on your prescribed diet and exercise program, as this will also affect the results of your blood tests.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    More common side effects may include: stomach problems (such as stomach pain, diarrhea, and gas).

    Less common side effects may include:

    Low blood sugar, especially if you take certain other diabetes medicines. Signs and symptoms of low blood sugar include headache, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, confusion, irritability, hunger, fast heartbeat, sweating, or feeling jittery.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Precose if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not take Precose if you have cirrhosis (scarring of your liver), inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers in your colon, any blockage in your intestine, any long-term intestinal disease associated with a digestion problem, or any condition that could worsen from increased gas formation in your intestine.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Precose. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver, kidney, or intestinal problems; if you are using insulin or other diabetes medicines known as sulfonylureas (such as glimepiride or glipizide); or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 25 milligrams three times a day. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Precose exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

    Take Precose with the first bite of each main meal.

    Have an available source of glucose to treat symptoms of low blood sugar. Table sugar will not work when taking Precose. Ask your healthcare provider for more information regarding available sources of glucose.

    If your body is under some types of stress (such as a fever, infection, trauma [such as a car accident], or surgery), your healthcare provider may need to adjust the dose of your diabetes medicine.

    While you are taking Precose, stay on your diet and exercise program, and check your blood sugar regularly as directed by your healthcare provider.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not change your dose or stop taking Precose without first talking to your healthcare provider.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Precose is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Precose may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Precose during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Precose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature. Protect from moisture.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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