The most common side effects of acarbose include abdominal or stomach pain, bloated feeling or passing of gas, and diarrhea.
It is critical to understand that using acarbose in combination with insulin can cause your blood sugar levels to become too low. If any of the following symptoms occur while on acarbose, your blood sugar may have dropped excessively, and you should use a glucose product such as Insta-Glucose and call your doctor immediately:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Nervousness or irritability
- Sudden changes in behavior or mood
- Numbness or tingling around the mouth
- Pale skin
- Abnormal hunger
- Clumsy or jerky movements
You should also call your doctor immediately if you experience extreme thirst or hunger, frequent urination, weakness, or blurred vision as these are signs of hypoglycemia (high blood sugar).
This is not a complete list of side effects – though these are among the most common. Seek medical attention right away if you experience yellow eyes or skin while taking acarbose.
As with all prescription medication, be sure to inform the prescribing doctor about any medical conditions you have been previously diagnosed with, as well as any medication/ supplements you are currently taking before starting treatment with acarbose.
Acarbose can interact with other forms of medication and substances, causing potentially serious side effects. These medications and substances include other diabetes medications, digoxin (Lanoxin), diuretics ('water pills'), estrogens, isoniazid, medications for high blood pressure or colds, oral contraceptives, pancreatic enzymes, phenytoin (Dilantin), steroids, thyroid medications, and vitamins.
In addition, let your doctor know if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant before starting treatment with this medication, as acarbose is not recommended during pregnancy.