Acarbose is an anti-diabetic medication. It inhibits an enzyme that helps in conversion of carbohydrates to glucose. This slows down carbohydrate digestion/absorption thereby preventing increase in blood glucose after meals.
Glucar does not cause hypoglycemia by itself though it has glucose-lowering effect. However, a fall of blood sugar levels in the hypoglycemic range may occur when given along with other antidiabetic medicines or insulin. If this occurs, consult your doctor who may modify your dose accordingly.
Q. Why does Glucar cause flatulence?
Glucar blocks the digestion of carbohydrates which causes accumulation of undigested carbohydrates in the colon. Bacterial fermentation of the accumulated carbohydrates causes intestinal gas, leading to flatulence and abdominal pain.
Q. Can Glucar cause diarrhea?
Yes, diarrhea is a common side effect of Glucar. However, this does not affect everybody. Any food containing acarbose, such as household sugar (cane sugar) can cause diarrhea and severe abdominal pain. If diarrhea persists or becomes severe, then contact your doctor immediately.
Q. When should Glucar be taken?
Glucar should be taken with your meals and should be swallowed whole with water or chewed with the first mouthful of food. The initial dose of Glucar is generally twice daily. The dose is then gradually increased to thrice daily.
Q. What if I forget to take Glucar?
If you forget to take a dose of Glucar, do not take the missed dose between meals. Wait for the scheduled dose and meal and continue taking your tablets as prescribed. Do not take the dose twice to make up for your forgotten tablets.
Q. What will happen if more than the recommended dose of Glucar is taken?
If you take more than the recommended dose of Glucar then it may cause transient increase in flatulence (accumulation of gas), diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort. It is advised to avoid meals or drinks containing carbohydrates for the next 4-6 hours.
Q. Who should not take Glucar?
Glucar should be avoided by patients who are allergic to it, have severe liver disease, or have inflammation or ulceration of intestine (eg Crohn’s disease). The use of Glucar should also be restricted in patients who have an intestinal obstruction (cramping pain, vomiting, obstipation, and lack of flatus). In addition, patients who have a large hernia or an intestinal disease where food is not digested or absorbed properly should avoid Glucar. Along with that, Glucar should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Information last updated by Dr. Varun Gupta, MD Pharmacology on 12th Dec 2019. The medicine details are for information purpose only. Consult a doctor before taking any medicine.