Generic name: acarbose
Dosage form: tablet
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There is no fixed dosage regimen for the management of diabetes mellitus with PRECOSE or any other pharmacologic agent. Dosage of PRECOSE must be individualized on the basis of both effectiveness and tolerance while not exceeding the maximum recommended dose of 100 mg t.i.d. PRECOSE should be taken three times daily at the start (with the first bite) of each main meal. PRECOSE should be started at a low dose, with gradual dose escalation as described below, both to reduce gastrointestinal side effects and to permit identification of the minimum dose required for adequate glycemic control of the patient. If the prescribed diet is not observed, the intestinal side effects may be intensified. If strongly distressing symptoms develop in spite of adherence to the diabetic diet prescribed, the doctor must be consulted and the dose temporarily or permanently reduced.
During treatment initiation and dose titration (see below), one-hour postprandial plasma glucose may be used to determine the therapeutic response to PRECOSE and identify the minimum effective dose for the patient. Thereafter, glycosylated hemoglobin should be measured at intervals of approximately three months. The therapeutic goal should be to decrease both postprandial plasma glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin levels to normal or near normal by using the lowest effective dose of PRECOSE, either as monotherapy or in combination with sulfonylureas, insulin or metformin.
The recommended starting dosage of PRECOSE is 25 mg given orally three times daily at the start (with the first bite) of each main meal. However, some patients may benefit from more gradual dose titration to minimize gastrointestinal side effects. This may be achieved by initiating treatment at 25 mg once per day and subsequently increasing the frequency of administration to achieve 25 mg t.i.d.
Once a 25 mg t.i.d. dosage regimen is reached, dosage of PRECOSE should be adjusted at 4–8 week intervals based on one-hour postprandial glucose or glycosylated hemoglobin levels, and on tolerance. The dosage can be increased from 25 mg t.i.d. to 50 mg t.i.d. Some patients may benefit from further increasing the dosage to 100 mg t.i.d. The maintenance dose ranges from 50 mg t.i.d. to 100 mg t.i.d. However, since patients with low body weight may be at increased risk for elevated serum transaminases, only patients with body weight > 60 kg should be considered for dose titration above 50 mg t.i.d. (see PRECAUTIONS). If no further reduction in postprandial glucose or glycosylated hemoglobin levels is observed with titration to 100 mg t.i.d., consideration should be given to lowering the dose. Once an effective and tolerated dosage is established, it should be maintained.
The maximum recommended dose for patients ≤ 60 kg is 50 mg t.i.d. The maximum recommended dose for patients > 60 kg is 100 mg t.i.d.
Patients Receiving Sulfonylureas or Insulin:
Sulfonylurea agents or insulin may cause hypoglycemia. PRECOSE given in combination with a sulfonylurea or insulin will cause a further lowering of blood glucose and may increase the potential for hypoglycemia. If hypoglycemia occurs, appropriate adjustments in the dosage of these agents should be made.