Compare Precose vs. Glyset

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


Precose (acarbose)

Prescription only

Glyset (miglitol)

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.

Lowers blood sugar.

Glyset (miglitol) controls your blood sugar, but the side effects and how you're supposed to take it can make it hard to take every day.

  • 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.
  • Glyset (miglitol) controls post-meal time blood sugars and does not cause weight gain.
  • Glyset (miglitol) doesn't cause low blood sugar as much as other similar medications.
  • Safe for people 65 years and older.
  • Glyset (miglitol) won't increase your risk of bone fractures like some other antidiabetic drugs.
  • 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.
  • Glyset (miglitol) isn't a first choice medication because it doesn't lower blood sugar as well as others.
  • You have to take Glyset (miglitol) 3 times a day with each meal.
  • Glyset (miglitol) can cause diarrhea, excessive gas, and stomach pain when you first start taking it.
  • Not recommended for children under 18.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
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Side effects
3possible side effects
  • Excessive gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
See more detailed side effects
The Glyset (miglitol) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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
  • Severely low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
    • Use of other blood sugar-lowering medications
    • Unstable kidney function
  • Kidney problems
    • History of kidney problems
  • Stomach and intestine problems
    • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Ulcers
    • Bowel obstruction or blockage
    • Trouble absorbing or digesting food
See more detailed risks and warnings