Precose

(acarbose)

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Lowers blood sugar.

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Our bottom line

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.

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    $23.66
Quick facts about Precose
  • Drug class: Endocrine
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (acarbose)

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.
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What to expect from Precose, on one page

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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.
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What to expect from Precose, on one page

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How it works

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.

Quick facts about Precose
  • Drug class: Endocrine
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (acarbose)

Dosage forms

  • Pill
Tried Precose? Write a review!

Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Precose (acarbose) for Type 2 diabetes

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  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Effectiveness
  • Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
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  • Possible side effects
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive gas
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Side effect rates for Precose (acarbose)

From 2254 clinical trials of Precose when taken for type 2 diabetes (50-300mg three times daily)
  • Excessive gas
    74%74%
    28%28%
  • Diarrhea
    31%31%
    12%12%
  • Stomach pain
    19%19%
    9%9%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Precose.

Precose (acarbose)
Placebo

People taking Precose felt side effect more

People taking Precose felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Precose (acarbose)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Using insulin or other medicines that stimulate insulin release

    When Precose (acarbose) is used together with insulin or a medicine that stimulates insulin release, your blood sugar can drop to dangerously low levels, which can be life-threatening. Signs of low blood sugar include fast heartbeat, sweating, pale skin, shakiness, confusion and irritability. Make sure to carry with you some form of sugar such as hard candies or glucose tablets at all times while you are on this medicine.

Pharmacist Q&A

Precose (acarbose) questions for

Frequently Asked Questions

This medication treats type 2 diabetes in adults.

Who is this drug for?

This medication treats type 2 diabetes in adults.

Common concerns from people taking Precose (acarbose)

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Interactions
  • Has relatively few interactions with other medicines.
Kidneys and liver
  • 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.
Pain
  • 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.
Weight
  • Precose (acarbose) helps control meal-time blood sugar levels without causing weight gain.