A multinational, observational study to investigate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of acarbose as add-on or monotherapy in a range of patients: the Gluco VIP study

Clin Drug Investig. 2013 Apr;33(4):263-74. doi: 10.1007/s40261-013-0063-3.


Background and objectives: The burden of type 2 diabetes mellitus is growing rapidly, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. The aim of this international, large-scale, observational study was to investigate the efficacy and tolerability of the antidiabetic agent acarbose as add-on or monotherapy in a range of patients with type 2 diabetes, including those with cardiovascular morbidities. The majority of practices were included from high-burden regions (predominantly those in the Asia-Pacific region).

Methods: This was an observational study conducted in 15 countries/regions. Adults with pre-treated or untreated type 2 diabetes prescribed acarbose as add-on or monotherapy were eligible. Two-hour postprandial blood glucose (2-h PPG), glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and fasting blood glucose (FBG) were measured over a 3-month observation period.

Results: A total of 15,034 patients were valid for the efficacy analysis and 15,661 for the safety analysis (mean age was 57.6 years and 92.6 % of patients were Asian). Mean (SD) 2-h PPG decreased by -71.9 (62.3) mg/dL, to 170.2 (46.5) mg/dL at final visit (after 12.8 [4.1] weeks). Mean HbA1c decreased by -1.1 % (1.3) to 7.2 % (1.1) and mean FBG decreased by -33.0 (43.3) mg/dL to 124.8 (30.5) mg/dL. Acarbose was effective regardless of the presence of cardiovascular co-morbidities or diabetic complications. The efficacy of acarbose was rated 'very good' or 'good' in 85.5 % of patients, and tolerability as 'very good' or 'good' in 84.9 % of patients. Drug-related adverse events, mainly gastrointestinal, were reported in 490/15,661 patients (3.13 %).

Conclusion: The results of this observational study support the notion that acarbose is effective, safe and well tolerated in a large cohort of Asian patients with type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acarbose / administration & dosage
  • Acarbose / adverse effects
  • Acarbose / therapeutic use*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asians
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human
  • Acarbose