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Precose Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Precose (acarbose tablets) is used to treat type 2 diabetes. Precose is sometimes used in combination with insulin or other diabetes medications you take by mouth. It is an oral alpha-glucosidase inhibitor. This medication is available in generic form. Common side effects include diarrhea, gas, upset stomach, or stomach pain in the first few weeks of treatment as your body adjusts to this medication but usually improve with time.
There is no fixed dosage regimen for the management of diabetes mellitus with Precose. Dosage is individualized on the basis of effectiveness and tolerance. The maximum dose should not exceed 100 mg three times per day. Precose may interact with isoniazid, digoxin, niacin, nicotine patches or gum, diuretics (water pills), steroids, phenothiazines, thyroid medicine, birth control pills and other hormones, seizure medications, cold or asthma medications, diet pills, stimulants, or medicines to treat ADHD, or calcium channel blockers. Tell your doctor all medications you are taking. During pregnancy, Precose should be used only when prescribed. Your doctor may substitute insulin for this drug during your pregnancy. It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Our Precose (acarbose tablets) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Precose in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- severe stomach pain, severe constipation;
- diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
- easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin; or
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious side effects may include:
- mild stomach pain, gas, bloating;
- mild diarrhea; or
- mild skin rash or itching.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Precose (Acarbose) »
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Precose Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: unusual tiredness, persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine.
Acarbose does not cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). However, this effect can occur if you also take other anti-diabetic drugs (e.g., sulfonylureas, insulin) and if you do not consume enough calories from food or if you do unusually heavy exercise. Symptoms of low blood sugar include cold sweat, blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness, shaking, fast heartbeat, headache, fainting, tingling of the hands/feet, and hunger. Do not use table sugar (also called cane sugar or sucrose) to relieve these symptoms because acarbose delays its breakdown. Carry glucose tablets or gel with you to treat low blood sugar. If you are in a situation where you don't have these reliable forms of glucose, eat some honey or drink a glass of orange juice (sources of another sugar, fructose) to quickly raise your blood sugar level. Tell your doctor about the reaction immediately. To help prevent low blood sugar, eat meals on a regular schedule, and do not skip meals. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out what you should do if you miss a meal.
Symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) include thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, flushing, rapid breathing, and fruity breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor immediately. Your dosage may need to be increased or you may need other drugs.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Precose (Acarbose)»
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Precose FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
Gastrointestinal symptoms are the most common reactions to PRECOSE. In U.S. placebo-controlled trials, the incidences of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and flatulence were 19%, 31%, and 74% respectively in 1255 patients treated with PRECOSE 50-300 mg t.i.d., whereas the corresponding incidences were 9%, 12%, and 29% in 999 placebo-treated patients.
In a one-year safety study, during which patients kept diaries of gastrointestinal symptoms, abdominal pain and diarrhea tended to return to pretreatment levels over time, and the frequency and intensity of flatulence tended to abate with time. The increased gastrointestinal tract symptoms in patients treated with PRECOSE are a manifestation of the mechanism of action of PRECOSE and are related to the presence of undigested carbohydrate in the lower GI tract.
If the prescribed diet is not observed, the intestinal side effects may be intensified. If strongly distressing symptoms develop in spite of adherence to the diabetic diet prescribed, the doctor must be consulted and the dose temporarily or permanently reduced.
Elevated Serum Transaminase Levels
Other Abnormal Laboratory Findings
Small reductions in hematocrit occurred more often in PRECOSE-treated patients than in placebo-treated patients but were not associated with reductions in hemoglobin. Low serum calcium and low plasma vitamin B6 levels were associated with PRECOSE therapy but are thought to be either spurious or of no clinical significance.
Postmarketing Adverse Event Reports
Additional adverse events reported from worldwide postmarketing experience include fulminant hepatitis with fatal outcome, hypersensitive skin reactions (for example rash, erythema, exanthema and uticaria), edema, ileus/subileus, jaundice and/or hepatitis and associated liver damage, thrombocytopenia, and pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis (see PRECAUTIONS).
Pneumatosis Cystoides Intestinalis
There have been rare postmarketing reports of pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis associated with the use of alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, including Precose. Pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis may present with symptoms of diarrhea, mucus discharge, rectal bleeding, and constipation. Complications may include pneumoperitoneum, volvulus, intestinal obstruction, intussusception, intestinal hemorrhage, and intestinal perforation. If pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis is suspected, discontinue Precose and perform the appropriate diagnostic imaging.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Precose (Acarbose) »
Additional Precose Information
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