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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking acarbose (Precose)?
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to acarbose, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin). You also should not use acarbose if you have:
To make sure you can safely take acarbose, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
FDA pregnancy category B. Acarbose is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether acarbose passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using acarbose.
How should I take acarbose (Precose)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Take acarbose with the first bite of a main meal, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor's office. Visit your doctor regularly.
If you take acarbose with insulin or other diabetes medications, your blood sugar could get too low. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can occur if you skip a meal, exercise too long, drink alcohol, or are under stress.
Know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and how to recognize them: headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, irritability, or trouble concentrating.
Always keep a source of sugar available in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar. Sugar sources include orange juice, glucose gel, candy, or milk. If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use an injection of glucagon. Your doctor can give you a prescription for a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to give the injection. Be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.
Check your blood sugar carefully during a time of stress or illness, if you travel, exercise more than usual, drink alcohol, or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your dose needs may also change.
Your doctor may want you to stop taking acarbose for a short time if you become ill, have a fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency.
Ask your doctor how to adjust your acarbose dose if needed. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.
Acarbose is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, foot care, eye care, dental care, and testing your blood sugar. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. Changing any of these factors can affect your blood sugar levels.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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