alpha-Glucosidase inhibitors

Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 1997 Sep;26(3):539-51. doi: 10.1016/s0889-8529(05)70266-8.


Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors are antihyperglycemic agents that lower blood glucose by delaying the digestion and absorption of complex carbohydrates. They are competitive inhibitors of the enzymes in the brush border of enterocytes that cleave eligosaccharides to monosaccharides. Their major action is to reduce the rise of postprandial plasma glucose. In non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus patients, these inhibitors decrease postprandial plasma glucose by 40 to 50 mg/dL and hemoglobin A1C by 0.5% to 1.0%.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Glycoside Hydrolase Inhibitors*
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / drug therapy*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Glycoside Hydrolase Inhibitors
  • Hypoglycemic Agents