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Acarbose Review Article

 

High glucoseAcarbose is an oral anti-diabetic drug for treating Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and pre-diabetes in some countries. It is marketed under the brand name Glucobay (Bayer AG) in Europe, Precose (Bayer Pharmaceuticals) in North America, and Prandase (Bayer AG) in Canada. It inhibits Alpha Glucosidase which is an enteric enzyme that releases glucose from larger carbohydrates by digesting starches in food. Thus, it belongs to the class of drugs termed Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors. It results in a lower and slower increase in blood glucose especially right after meals.

Acarbose helps diabetic and obese patients with postprandial lipid metabolism
Acarbose is an inhibitor type of drug for treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. It primarily hinders or reduces the glycoside hydrolases or alpha glucosidase which are enzymes found in the intestines and are responsible for digestion and processing of carbohydrates into glucose. Continue reading...

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It also targets enzymes in the pancreas called alpha amylase which also play a role in digesting carbohydrates. It is taken in an oral form with a usual dosing of 300 mg per day divided into 3 times per day. To be able to take effect and keep diabetes in check, continual use is prescribed for patients.

Aside from these known effects, Acarbose has also been used on several clinical trials mostly with regards to treating symptoms of diabetic patients. For instance, a study last year was aimed to discover the effects of Acarbose when used with Pioglitazone, an antihyperglycemic or antidiabetic drug, towards vascular inflammation. These cardiovascular symptoms are commonly exhibited or are on greater risks for patients who have diabetes. The study was also a comparison to the drug combination treatment sulphonylureas and metformin which is also therapy for type 2 diabetes and has been used to investigate regarding its link to cardiovascular diseases.

With 3 groups for both drugs and placebo on 6 months of study of treatment, there were significant changes with regards to the baseline data which included weight, BMI and glycated hemoglobin. Both have been shown to reduce the endothelial inflammation biomarkers on 274 type 2 diabetes patients which have already undergone maximal doses of sulphonylureas and metformin.

On another study, researchers used Acarbose to see if it has any benefits for evaluating carotid intima media thickness which is similar to the first trial in that it focuses on vascular problems or specifically, arterial walls. The carotid is a very important artery that serves as a connection to the brain and IMT is used to be able to evaluate any atherosclerosis on the arterial walls. Having clogs in these vessels is common with those who have type 2 DM or impaired glucose tolerance.

Prior to the start, patients were first screened and tested for comparison baseline data including glucose tolerance and concentration of glycosylated hemoglobin. Over time, the participants would also be tested using coronary andiography. On a random grouping, 1 year long testing, it was found that Acarbose therapy on patients with the cited conditions would benefit carotid IMT. This is in terms of preventing the development of atherosclerosis.

REFERENCES:

1. Koyasu, M., Ishii, H., Watarai M., Takemoto, K., Inden, Y., Takeshita, K., Amano, T., Yoshikawa, D., Matsubara, T. and Murohara T., 2010. Impact of acarbose on carotid intima-media thickness in patients with newly diagnosed impaired glucose tolerance or mild type 2 diabetes mellitus: A one-year, prospective, randomized, open-label, parallel-group study in Japanese adults with established coronary artery disease.Clin Ther 32(9):1610-7

2. Derosa, G., Mereu, R., D'Angelo, A., Salvadeo, S.A., Ferrari, I., Fogari, E., Gravina, A., Palumbo, I., Maffioli, P., Randazzo, S. and Cicero, A.F., 2010. Effect of pioglitazone and acarbose on endothelial inflammation biomarkers during oral glucose tolerance test in diabetic patients treated with sulphonylureas and metformin.J Clin Pharm Ther 35(5): 565-79


 

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