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What is Precose?

Precose is an anti-diabetic medication that can improve glycemic control in adults with diabetes. The drug contains the active ingredient (acarbose) and excipients. The active ingredient is a pseudo tetrasaccharide of microbial origin, which acts at the level of the digestive tract, inhibiting the activity of α-glucosidase (an enzyme in the small intestine). As a result, the digestion of carbohydrates and glucose release slow down, i.e. postprandial glycemia (blood glucose concentration after a meal) is delayed and even decreases. With pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance), regular use of the drug reduces the risk (by 25%) of the development of type II diabetes mellitus and heart disease. Therefore, it is prescribed (in combination with diet, exercise) for the prevention of diabetes mellitus in patients with decreased glucose tolerance. In diabetes mellitus type II, this medicine is indicated in combination with diet therapy and is aimed at reducing the risk of cardiac complications.

How should I use Precose?

Tablets are taken orally:

  • immediately before a meal with, without chewing, with a moderate amount of water;
  • or chewed with the first portion of food.

With type II diabetes, the starting dose is usually 50 mg – 100 mg 3 times a day. Then the dose of the drug is increased to the average – 300 mg/day.

To prevent the development of diabetes mellitus in people with a decrease in glucose tolerance (the so-called pre-diabetes), the starting dose is usually 50 mg per day. For three months, the dose is increased to 100 mg 3 times/day.

The dose is increased with an interval of 4–8 weeks if the previous dosage was not effective.

What are the contraindications of this medicine?

Do not use Precose in the presence of any of the following conditions:

  • chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, occurring with severe digestive disorders and absorption;
  • conditions that may be accompanied by flatulence (Remheld’s syndrome, large hernia of any size, intestinal obstruction, peptic ulcer);
  • renal failure severe (with CC pregnancy;
  • lactation (breastfeeding);
  • age up to 18 years;
  • hypersensitivity to acarbose or any of the components of the drug.

The medicine is used with caution in fever, infectious diseases, injuries, surgical interventions. Since the drug can cause an asymptomatic increase in liver transaminase activity, it is recommended to monitor the level of these enzymes during the first 6-12 months of therapy (usually, these indicators normalize if the drug is canceled.)

What are the side effects of Precose?

The medicine can cause the following side effects:

  • flatulence;
  • diarrhea;
  • epigastric pain;
  • nausea;
  • increased levels of liver enzymes (3 times);
  • intestinal obstruction;
  • jaundice and/or hepatitis and related liver damage;
  • skin rash;
  • hyperemia;
  • rash;
  • urticaria.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take Precose if you are currently using any of the following medications and substances:

  • cholestyramine;
  • gastrointestinal adsorbents;
  • preparations containing digestive enzymes;
  • digoxin.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Precose should not be used during pregnancy, because there is no reliable information on the use of the drug in pregnant women.

The medicine is not recommended during lactation. If necessary, the use of the drug should be discontinued during lactation.

Elderly patients over the age of 65 do not need to change the dose or dosing regimen.

If an overdose of acarbose occurred along with a meal or drink containing carbohydrates, there may be flatulence (bloating), and loose stools. If an overdose occurs, food and drinks containing carbohydrates are excluded from the diet over the next 6 hours.

During treatment with Precose, strict dieting is required.

A patient with diabetes should be warned about the impossibility of self-withdrawal of the drug, because this may be accompanied by an increase in blood glucose levels. Failure to follow the recommended diet may increase side effects associated with the gastrointestinal tract. If despite strict adherence to the diet, the symptoms occur, the dose of the drug can be reduced (for a short or long term).

The medicine does not cause hypoglycemia when used only in combination with diet. When it’s used insulin therapy or oral hypoglycemic agents, hypoglycemia may develop due to a reduction in the need for antidiabetic therapy.

Keep in mind that acarbose slows the conversion of sucrose to fructose and glucose, therefore when acute hypoglycemia occurs during the treatment with Precose, a patient should receive glucose to stop it.

The medicine does not affect the ability of patients to engage in potentially hazardous activities requiring increased attention.