Glucobay – Diabetes Medication

General Summary

  • Trade name: Glucobay
  • Generic name: Acarbose
  • Drug class: Alpha-glucosidase Inhibitors
  • Manufacturer: Bayer AG

What is Glucobay?

Glucobay is an oral medication that is used by people with type 2 diabetes to help control the amount of glucose in their blood. It operates by delaying the breakdown of glucose and starches in the gut and their absorption into the blood.

Glucobay is usually taken with meals to slow the action of enzymes in the intestine that breakdown food and release glucose into the bloodstream. As a result, the usual increase in glucose that normally follows after eating a meal is prevented. Additionally, the daily fluctuations on blood glucose are also stabilised.

Tablets should be chewed with your first mouthful of a meal or swallowed whole with liquid immediately before eating. It is recommended that treatment starts with a once daily dose of 50mg. The maximum dosage is three 100mg per day. Your dose and frequency will always be determined by a GP. It will entirely depend on your blood glucose levels. You should always inform your GP about any other medications you are taking because they may not with Glucobay.

If you forget a dose, do not take extra mediation to try and compensate as you risk overdosing. Always start your medication regimen again with your next meal.

Glucobay has to be stored in its original packaging at room temperature.

Who Can Take Glucobay?

Glucobay is meant to be taken by adults with type 2 diabetes who can’t achieve sufficient glycemic control through diet, exercise and weight loss alone. It can be used on its own or with other medications if it has not proved effective as a monotherapy.

Who Can’t Take Glucobay?

Glucobay should be avoided by people who have:

  • An allergy to any of the ingredients involved.
  • Severely decreased liver or kidney function.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease like Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease.
  • Chronic diseases of the gut that are associated with food digestion or absorption.
  • Ulceration in the bowel.
  • A tendency to suffer from intestinal blockage.
  • A hernia or any other condition that may worsen as a result of increased gas formation in the gut.
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

Glucobay also isn’t suitable for anyone under the age of 18. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid this medication.

Side Effects

The following adverse side effects are usually associated with Glucobay:

  • Flatulence
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Allergic reaction, which includes: rash, redness of the skin or itching.
  • Fluid retention
  • Yellowing of the skin (Jaundice)
  • Inflammation of the liver (hepatitis)
  • A decrease in the number of platelets in the blood (thrombocytopenia).

This isn’t a full, extensive list of side effects. Always refer to information leaflet that is provided with your medication. If you’re concerned about the effects of Glucobay, consult your doctor or pharmacist.