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DM2 Alpha-glucosidase inhibitor Cheat Sheet by

Acarbose (precise) treatment of type 2 diabetes

Medication Name


Therap­eutic Use

Type 2 diabetes mellitus, with or without drug therapy with insulin, a sulfon­ylurea, or metformin (Gluco­phage)

Adverse Drug Reactions

Gastro­int­estinal effects (diste­ntion, flatus, hypera­ctive bowel sounds, diarrhea)
Hypogl­ycemia (combi­nation therapy with insulin or a sulfon­ylurea)
Liver dysfun­ction

Nusing Interv­entions

Monitor hypera­ctive bowel sounds, disten­tion, and diarrhea.
Report persistent gastric distress.
Monitor for signs of hypogl­ycemia (diaph­oresis, tachyc­ardia, fatigue, excessive hunger, tremors).
Measure liver enzymes at baseline, every 3 months for the first year, and period­ically therea­fter.
Stop drug therapy for indica­tions of liver injury.
Monitor CBC
Watch for indica­tions of anemia (pallor, fatigue, shortness of breath).
Recommend iron-rich foods and supple­ments accord­ingly.

Drug Admini­str­ation

Give with the first bite of food, three times a day.
Tell clients who skip a meal to also skip the dose usually taken with that meal and to take only one dose at the next meal.

Patient Education

Warn client about the gastric side effects of alpha- glucos­idase inhibi­tors.
Follow the diet regimen recomm­ended by the provider.
Wear a medical alert bracelet.
Report dark urine, abdominal pain, vomiting, or fatigue.
Report pallor, fatigue, or shortness of breath.
Watch for and report symptoms of hypogl­ycemia.
Test blood glucose to confirm
Consume oral (Gluco­tabs) if necessary
Retest in 15 min and repeat if still low.
Carry dextrose tablets at all times.


Gastro­int­estinal disorders (such as inflam­matory bowel disease), obstru­ction, ulceration


Hepatic impairment
Gastro­int­estinal distress
Not typically used in U.S.


Insulin and sulfon­ylureas increase the risk of hypogl­ycemia.


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