By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Glucobay Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.


What is Glucobay® (acarbose) used for?

Glucobay® is a glucosidase inhibitor. It is commonly used to treat diabetes type 2 by slowing down the enzyme that turns carbohydrates into glucose. This results in a smaller rise in blood sugar levels following a meal. It is used along with diet and exercise. It may be used alone or with other antidiabetic medicines.

Glucobay® may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should I take Glucobay® (acarbose)?

Do not crush, break, or chew the tablets. Swallow Glucobay® whole with a glass of water.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Glucobay®.

How do I store Glucobay® (acarbose)?

Glucobay® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Glucobay® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Glucobay® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Glucobay® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Glucobay® (acarbose)?

Consult with your doctor or pharmacist, if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Glucobay® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions, such as stomach or bowel problems, liver problems or unexplained abnormal liver function tests, or kidney problems.
  • You have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?


There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category B, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk;
  • B=No risk in some studies;
  • C=There may be some risk;
  • D=Positive evidence of risk;
  • X=Contraindicated;
  • N=Unknown.


Not known if crosses into breast milk, avoid using in nursing women.

Always consult your health care provider prior to using Glucobay® if you are pregnant, breastfeeding.

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Glucobay® (acarbose)?

Here are side effects:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, which include hives; difficulty breathing; or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Severe itching.
  • Severe stomach pain.
  • Severe constipation.
  • Diarrhea that’s watery or bloody.
  • Unusual bleeding.
  • Easy bruising.
  • Purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin.
  • Upper stomach pain, nausea, or loss of appetite.
  • Dark urine or clay-colored stools.
  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin (jaundice).

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Glucobay® (acarbose)?

Glucobay® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Glucobay® may cause interactions with these below medications, include:

  • Any medications you take for diabetes and blood sugar control;
  • Digoxin (Lanoxin);
  • Diuretics (water pills);
  • Estrogens;
  • Isoniazid;
  • Medicines for high blood pressure or colds;
  • Medications to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder);
  • Oral contraceptives;
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin);
  • Thyroid medications;
  • Niacin;
  • Nicotine patches or gum;
  • Steroids;
  • Diet pills;
  • Vitamins.

Does food or alcohol interact with Glucobay® (acarbose)?

Glucobay® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Glucobay® (acarbose)?

Glucobay® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have. Especially:

  • An intestinal disease, such as inflammatory bowel disease or a bowel obstruction;
  • Cirrhosis of the liver or any other type of liver disease;
  • Any kind of stomach or digestion problem;
  • Ketoacidosis, a serious condition that occurs after an untreated high blood sugar (hyperglycemic) episode.


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of Glucobay® (acarbose) for an adult?

Type 2 diabetes mellitus

  • Initially 25 mg every 8 hours.
  • Can increase to 50 or 100 mg every 8 hours at 4 to 8 week intervals based on 1hour postprandial glucose or glycosylated hemoglobin levels, and on tolerance.
  • Maximum dose
    • <60 kg: 50 mg every 8 hours.
    • >60 kg: 100 mg every 8 hours.

What is the dose of Glucobay® (acarbose) for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Glucobay® (acarbose) available?

Glucobay® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Glucobay® tablets 50mg.
  • Glucobay® tablets 100mg.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services (115) or go to your nearest emergency room.

It is also important to carry a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking with you in case of emergencies.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Glucobay®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: November 28, 2016 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019