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Alpha-glucosidase Inhibitors for Type 2 Diabetes

Medications that help control your blood glucose level

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors block (or inhibit) your body from breaking down carbohydrates, which should reduce the amount of glucose in your blood.

 
How they work: Your body needs to break down carbohydrates in order to get glucose, which it uses for energy. However, certain enzymes in the intestines are needed to do most of the work. Those enzymes are called alpha-glucosidases, and so alpha-glucosidase inhibitors prevent these enzymes from doing their job. Your body, therefore, doesn’t get more glucose from the complex carbohydrates you eat, and your blood glucose level doesn’t go up as much after you eat.
 
Special notes: You have to take alpha-glucosidase inhibitors with every meal, and you have to take them even before you take your first bite of food. These medications may cause stomach upset, gas, or diarrhea.
 
Examples of alpha-glucosidase inhibitors:
  • Acarbose (Precose)
  • Miglitol (Glyset)

 

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