Compare Precose vs. Afrezza

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

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Precose (acarbose)

Prescription only

Afrezza (insulin)

Prescription only
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.

Controls mealtime blood sugar.

Afrezza (insulin) is effective at controlling blood sugar, but you can't use it if you've had lung problems or smoke.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • Afrezza (insulin) is as effective as other mealtime insulin products.
  • Starts working faster and stays in your body for a shorter time than other mealtime insulin products, so you're less likely to have severely low blood sugar.
  • If you don't like needles, Afrezza (insulin) is a good alternative since you inhale it.
  • Safe to use in people 65 or older.
  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about ways to lower your copay, such as coupons.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Not recommended if you're a smoker or if you've smoked in the last 6 months.
  • Afrezza (insulin) only comes in 3 different strengths, so it can be inconvenient if you need a lot of insulin.
  • Not recommended in children under 18.
  • If you're pregnant, you'll need to talk to your doctor before you start Afrezza (insulin).
  • There is no generic available, and may not be covered right away by Medicare or other insurances.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Inhalation powder
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
3possible side effects
  • Excessive gas
    74%
  • Diarrhea
    31%
  • Stomach pain
    19%
See more detailed side effects
6possible side effects
  • Cough
    28%
  • Throat pain or irritation
    6%
  • Headache
    5%
  • Worsening lung function test
    3%
  • Airway inflammation
    3%
  • Urinary tract infection
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Low blood sugar
    • Using insulin or other medicines that stimulate insulin release
  • Kidney function
    • Those with kidney problems
  • Interactions with other medicines
    • Taking multiple medicines together
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Low blood sugar
    • Changes in diet and exercise
    • Drinking alcohol
    • Taking other medications for diabetes
    • Over age 65
    • Liver or kidney problems
  • Breathing problems
    • Asthma
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    • Other long term lung problems
  • Low blood potassium levels
    • Taking laxatives
    • Taking medications that increase urination
  • Worsening lung function
    • Smoking
    • Second-hand smoke
    • Indoor and outdoor pollution
    • Work-related fume and chemical exposure
  • Fluid buildup
    • Taking Avandia or Actos
  • Too much acid in the blood
    • Type 1 diabetes
    • Long periods of fasting
    • Alchohol abuse
    • History of pancreatitis
See more detailed risks and warnings