Trade name

Among other things Glucobay®.


Acarbose is used as a drug for the treatment of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (i.e. mainly type II diabetes). It works by inhibiting certain enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract (alpha-glucosidases) which are responsible for the breakdown of sugars (carbohydrates). This leads to a delay in the absorption of glucose. The delayed splitting and absorption of glucose prevents a sharp increase in blood sugar after meals (postprandial blood sugar peaks).


The active ingredient acarbose is a substance that is very similar in structure to a polysaccharide. It is used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus and belongs to the group of oral antidiabetics. These are drugs which, unlike insulin, are administered in tablet form.

Especially in the early stages of type 2 diabetes mellitus, acarbose is used as a supplement to lifestyle-modifying measures such as diet. Supplementation with other antidiabetics, such as metformin, sulfonylureas or even insulin, is also possible. Acarbose belongs to the group of so-called alpha-glucosidase inhibitors.

It inhibits the enzyme alpha-glucosidase, which breaks down carbohydrates. This delays the breakdown of carbohydrates in the small intestine. Less glucose and other simple sugars (monosaccharides) are absorbed into the blood.

This prevents blood sugar peaks, which would otherwise occur immediately after eating, in particular. Such blood sugar peaks are called postprandial blood sugar increases. The rise in blood sugar is therefore slower after eating.

However, the effectiveness of acarbose is strongly dependent on the time of taking it. If taken too late, the effectiveness is significantly reduced, so that acarbose should be taken at the beginning of the main meal. Acarbose does not prevent the absorption of glucose contained in food.

Lactose also remains unaffected by the effect, as it is broken down by other enzymes. In cases of high blood sugar levels or type 2 diabetes that is difficult to control, acarbose is therefore not sufficiently potent to control diabetes. However, since acarbose often causes symptoms such as flatulence or diarrhoea and is therefore not very well tolerated, it is a drug that is used rather rarely. Acarbose is not suitable for the treatment of diabetes mellitus type 1. There are still some contraindications and side effects that have to be considered when using acarbose.

Acarbose dura®

Acarbose dura® is a medicinal product marketed by the company Mylan Dura. It is available only on prescription and can therefore only be purchased from a pharmacy on presentation of a medical prescription in the form of a prescription. There are tablets in the dosage 50 mg or 100 mg. Acarbose dura® is the trade name for the active ingredient acarbose and simply refers to the publisher of the drug.

It is the same active ingredient that is contained in acarbose preparations of other companies. The drug contains acarbose, which belongs to the so-called alpha-glucosidase inhibitors. It delays the absorption of glucose and other simple sugars in the intestine.

This slows down the rise in blood sugar after ingestion and prevents blood sugar spikes. Acarbose dura® is used in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and in diabetes mellitus type 2. Acarbose dura® is not suitable for the therapy of type 1 diabetes.

It is usually used when diabetes cannot be cured by dietary changes and exercise alone. It is suitable both as monotherapy and in combination with other blood sugar-lowering drugs such as metformin, insulin or sulfonylureas. In cases of severe functional impairment of the kidney or liver, chronic intestinal diseases, an allergy to the components of Acarbose dura® as well as during pregnancy and lactation, the drug must not be taken.

In addition, there are side effects and interactions which must be taken into account and which are described in the package insert. The usual dosage is 3 times 50 mg (corresponding to 3 x 1 tablet) daily, unless otherwise prescribed by the doctor. A creeping dosage has been proven to reduce side effects in many patients, so that a lower dosage is started at first and then slowly increased over the course of time. Hypoglycaemia can occur in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, as drugs are used to prevent high blood sugar levels. Compared to other drugs, however, acarbose carries only a very low to almost non-existent risk of such hypoglycaemia occurring.