Acarbose and stomach discomfort

Yes, a lot of people have these GI issues in response to acarbose, unfortunately. Take 1 time a day with food. To avoid GI issues when starting, avoid excessive carbohydrates during your first week.


I was prescribed a low dose of acarbose (25mg). When would the best time to take this? It looks like the half life is only 2 hours, should I take this with breakfast or maybe in the evening with dinner?

According to the continuous glucose monitor data, taking acarbose approximately 20 minutes before the largest meal of the day is most effective to mitigate post-meal glucose spikes. While it is not necessary to take the medication with every meal, a single dose can still provide benefits due to its impact on the gut microbiome.

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I have stopped taking Metformin because of the side effects, I have just picked up a prescription of Acarbose , can you tell me if you get any side effects from Acarbose please like gas/diarrhea . I’m hoping that Acarbose will help with glucose numbers so that I can take Rapamycin
Thank you

Acarbose will cause gas at first. It does seem to resolve.

One key recommendation for reducing the gas would be to make sure to restrict carbohydrates from processed foods when you’re first starting acarbose. This seems to have the most impact on reducing gas while on acarbose.

Start with a low dose of acarbose and gradually increase the dose as tolerated to minimize GI side effects.

Another way to reduce the gas would be to eat smaller, more frequent meals rather than larger meals to help your body adjust to the medication.

Fluids help. Drink plenty of fluids, as this can help to prevent constipation, which can contribute to gas.

We don’t see patients experiencing diarrhea as a side-effect though.

Let us know if you have any other questions about the acarbose protocol.

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Thank you for that information , I had a lot of problems with Metformin so I have recently switched to Acarbose, I’m taking only 1 a day to see how or if I get a reaction from it, I’m taking it in the hopes that it will reduce my glucose levels so that I can tak Rapamycin
I’m glad you said that Acarbose doesn’t cause Diarrhea

I am interested in trying acarbose, I tried canagliflozin and it gave me a UTI.

I have been taking acarbose for the last 3 weeks and feel great on it. I have lost 5 pounds while taking it. I haven’t experienced any discomfort while taking it. Canagliflozin (also studied by the ITP that showed longevity benefits) caused me terrible side effects. It uses a different pathway to prevent glucose spikes.
Very pleased with Acarbose, I feel good taking it.

Hi Kytexas. Do you only take Acarbose with high carbs? Or do you take it on schedule? What’s your dose? Thanx

I do take it with carb meals. I wouldn’t call my meals specifically high carb. Very low glycemic. typical lunch meal would be avocado, walnuts, salmon, arugula, carrots and tomatoes with lots of olive oil. I take acarbose with that meal. I will also take it with an evening meal, if I eat legumes and vegetables.

I’m pleased it is working for you. I got a very itchy rash from Acarbose but I think it was because I was taking it without a high carb meal , the side effect isn’t shown unless you specifically google’ ‘Acarbose and rash’

@DeeinFlorida It’s not uncommon for patients to experience gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances initially when commencing acarbose treatment. While your report of a rash is not a common reaction we’ve observed among our patients, it’s possible that the acarbose could be contributing to this issue.

To mitigate these side effects, we suggest modifying your diet by moderately reducing your carbohydrate intake during your acclimation period to acarbose. This strategy could potentially help alleviate the symptoms you’re experiencing.

Also any time you have an issue like this feel free to message us in the patient portal and we can provide some coaching and guidance.

I’m taking Acarbose and have found I do not have the gas and bloating if I swallow the tablet whole instead of chewing the tablet, but I wonder if I’m absorbing it and if it’s working the same if I take it this way. Should it always be chewed to be effective?

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