The Influence of Acarbose Dosage Scheme on Intestinal Symptoms and Intestinal Transit Time in Healthy Volunteers
Intestinal symptoms such as flatulence, meteorism, and diarrhea may be induced as a result of the α-glucosidase inhibition caused by acarbose. The aim of this study was to compare the intestinal effects after full treatment with 600 mg acarbose daily with an increasing dosage scheme (150, 300, 600 mg) during 2-week periods. Sixty healthy volunteers (age 26, SD 6 years; Broca index, 0.91, SD 0.09) were given acarbose for 6 weeks. While 30 volunteers received 3 × 200 mg beginning with the 1st day of the double-blind trial, the other 30 volunteers were given acarbose in increasing doses: 3 × 50 mg, 3 × 100 mg, and 3 × 200 mg. Intestinal side effects were documented in a diary for the following symptoms: abdominal pain, sensation of repletion, flatulence, borborygmus, eructation, and heartburn. The intestinal transit time (mouth-to- cecum transit) was measured in 2-week periods through the exhalation of breath hydrogen after a standardized breakfast.