Compare Precose vs. Human Insulin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Precose
(acarbose)

Humulin
(Human Insulin)

Lowers blood sugar. Precose (acarbose) helps lower your post-mealtime blood sugar levels, but it must be taken at the beginning of each main meal in order for it to be most effective.Lowers blood sugar. This form of insulin is one of the few medications in its class that you can get without a prescription, but it's expensive.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Precose (acarbose)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Human Insulin
67%
+33% better vs. Precose
46%
+54% better vs. Precose
11%
+11% better vs. Precose
Have you used Humulin (Human Insulin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
PrecoseHuman Insulin
  • Stomach pain 10%
  • Diarrhea 19%
  • Excessive gas 46%
More Precose side effects »

The Human Insulin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Human Insulin side effects »
How it works
PrecoseHuman Insulin
Precose (acarbose) stops an enzyme in your body from turning carbohydrates into sugar for energy. As a result, your body will absorb less sugar from the foods that you eat which will lead to lower blood sugar levels.Insulin is a hormone normally produced by your pancreas. It helps your body absorb and store sugar and fat from your bloodstream.
Type of medication
PrecoseHuman Insulin
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyNo lower cost generic available
Available as
PrecoseHuman Insulin
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Inhaler
Used for
PrecoseHuman Insulin
Risk factors for serious side effects
PrecoseHuman Insulin
  • Using insulin or other medicines that stimulate insulin release
  • Those with kidney problems
  • Taking multiple medicines together
Detailed Precose (acarbose) risks & warnings »
    Detailed Humulin (Human Insulin) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy

    Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

    Interactions
    PrecoseHuman Insulin
    • Has relatively few interactions with other medicines.
    No interactions related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    PrecoseHuman Insulin
    • Precose (acarbose) is not a recommended treatment option if you have bad kidney function or kidney problems. Your doctor will have you do a blood test to decide if this is the right medicine for you.
    No kidneys and liver related info.
    Pain
    PrecoseHuman Insulin
    • Causes side effects usually during the first few weeks of treatment including stomach pain, excessive gas, and diarrhea that will become less bothersome with time.
    No pain related info.
    Weight
    PrecoseHuman Insulin
    • Precose (acarbose) helps control meal-time blood sugar levels without causing weight gain.
    • People on Humulin (Human Insulin) can experience weight gain. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about changing your diet if this bothers you.
    Upsides and benefits
    PrecoseHuman Insulin
    • Precose (acarbose) helps control meal-time blood sugar levels without causing weight gain.
    • When used alone it doesn't normally cause blood sugar levels to be too low unlike other anti-diabetes medicines.
    • Safe to be used in people age 65 or older.
    • Has relatively few interactions with other medicines.
    • Some types of this medication are available without a prescription.
    • Available as a shot to be injected into the fatty part of the skin, and as a powder to be inhaled through your nose.
    • Available in different combinations so that you can do one shot or multiple shots a day.
    Downsides and risks
    PrecoseHuman Insulin
    • Not a first choice medicine because it isn't as effective at lowering blood sugar compared to other treatment options.
    • Associated with bothersome side effects like excessive gas and diarrhea.
    • Relatively more expensive than other diabetes medicines.
    • Has to be taken three times a day with each meal.
    • Might cause episodes of low blood sugar when taken together with insulin or medicines that stimulate insulin release.
    • Has to be taken exactly as directed or it can cause high or low blood sugar.
    • As with all insulins, you have to work with your doctor closely to make sure you're giving yourself the correct dose, or you can have low or high blood sugar.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    PrecoseHuman Insulin
    • Take Precose (acarbose) with the first bite of each main meal.
    • Don't take the medicine for the times you have skipped a meal.
    • Causes side effects usually during the first few weeks of treatment including stomach pain, excessive gas, and diarrhea that will become less bothersome with time.
    • You should continue to maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and monitor your blood sugar levels while taking Precose (acarbose).
    • Your doctor will work with you to increase your dose gradually.
    • Carry glucose tablets with you at all times so that you can take them when your blood sugar drops to dangerously low levels. This is more likely to happen if you are also using insulin or a medicine that stimulates insulin release.
    • Change the location where you give yourself the shot every time.
    • Don't use if the liquid in the vial looks different than normal.
    • Store the unopened vials in the refrigerator. The used vials can be kept at room temperature for up to 28 days.
    • Take the medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
    • Know the symptoms of low blood sugar.
    Learn more
    More about PrecoseSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Precose (acarbose)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about Human InsulinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Humulin (Human Insulin)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it