Amy Shults RDN, CDN, CDE
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Certified Diabetes Educator

Drug Facts: Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors

August 15, 2018


Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors, or simply AGIs, include Acarbose (Precose) and Miglitol (Glyset). AGIs aid in stabilizing blood sugars by reducing the amount of sugar absorbed by small intestines.


These drugs are not commonly used in the United States, but they may be a good fit for some people. The benefits of these drugs include its low to moderate cost,  and its low risk of causing hypoglycemia. If you have high blood sugar readings after meals, these drugs can really help. The cons are that they can cause gas, diarrhea and bloating. These GI side effects make sense as AGIs prevent the breakdown of carbs in your small intestines. Your provider can start you off on a low dose to keep side effects to a minimum. The side effects often diminish after some time as well.


AGIs are taken three times a day at the beginning of a meal. Timing is important with this one, so you’ll have to get in the habit of taking these pills with you so you can take them with the first bite of food.


No needs to wait weeks to find out how they’re working - lowering of blood sugars will be seen with the first dose.



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Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only. It should not be a substitute for individual advice from a health care professional. Talk with your physician, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, and/or Certified Diabetes Educator about what is best for you and your health.

AMS Nutrition Counseling PLLC

64 Davison Court

Lockport, NY 14094

Phone: (716) 266-6056

Fax: (716) 332-6412

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