Efficacy and tolerability of acarbose in Asian patients with type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled with diet and sulfonylureas

J Diabetes Complications. Jul-Aug 2003;17(4):179-85. doi: 10.1016/s1056-8727(02)00258-1.


The objective of this study was to investigate the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of acarbose in the improvement of glycemic control in Asian patients with type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled by diet and sulfonylureas. A 24-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter group comparison study was conducted. Patients were randomized to receive acarbose titrated up to 100-mg tid (n=36) or matching placebo (n=33). Concomitant sulfonylurea treatment remained unchanged throughout the study. The primary efficacy parameter was the change in HbA(1c) from baseline to double-blind endpoint. Secondary efficacy variables consisted of the change from baseline to endpoint in blood glucose (fasting and 1-h postprandial), serum insulin (fasting and 1-h postprandial), and urinary glucose. In the intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis, acarbose treatment was associated with significantly greater reductions in glycated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)) (-0.91% vs. placebo 0.13%, P=.0018) and 1-h postprandial blood glucose levels (-2.84 mmol/l vs. placebo -0.28 mmol/l, P=.002) compared to placebo. There were no significant differences between the treatment groups regarding changes in fasting blood glucose, fasting or 1-h postprandial serum insulin, urinary glucose, or body weight. Adverse events occurred with similar frequency in both treatment arms except for drug-related gastrointestinal side-effects associated with acarbose (acarbose 48.5% and placebo 12.5%). This study has shown that the use of acarbose in Asian patients with type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled by diet and sulfonylureas is efficacious in improving metabolic control and that acarbose is safe and well tolerated.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acarbose / adverse effects
  • Acarbose / therapeutic use*
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / chemically induced
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Glycosuria
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos
  • Retreatment
  • Sulfonylurea Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Placebos
  • Sulfonylurea Compounds
  • Acarbose