Acarbose is indicated for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Acarbose lowers post-meal blood glucose concentrations in patients with diabetes by competitive, reversible inhibition of pancreatic alpha-amylase and membrane-bound intestinal alpha-glucoside hydrolases. These enzymes aid the hydrolysis of complex starches to oligosaccharides in the lumen of the small intestine and hydrolysis of oligosaccharides, trisaccharides, and disaccharides to glucose and other monosaccharides in the brush border of the small intestine. Acarbose does not enhance insulin secretion and, when used as monotherapy, should not cause low blood sugar.
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