To demonstrate the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of acarbosecompared with placebo in patients with type 2 diabetes inadequatelycontrolled with diet and metformin (2,000 or 2,500 mg/day in divideddoses).


This study had a multicenter randomized double-blind placebo-controlled parallel-group comparison design. The trial lasted 31 weeks and consisted of a 1-week screening period, a 6-week placebo pretreatment period, and a 24-week period of acarbose or placebo, with a forced titration from 25–50 mg t.i.d. and a titration of 50–100 mg tid that was based on glucose control. The primary efficacy variable wasthe mean change from baseline in HbAlc. Secondary efficacy variables included mean changes from baseline in fasting and postprandial plasma glucose, serum insulin, and triglyceride levels.


The addition of acarbose to patients on background metformin and diet therapy showed a statistically significant reduction in mean HbAlc of 0.65%. There were statistically significant reductions in fasting and postprandial plasma glucose and serum insulin levels compared with placebo. Gastrointestinal side effects were more frequently reported in the acarbose-treated patients. No significant differences in liver transaminase elevations were observed between patients treated with acarbose and those treated with placebo.


The results of this study demonstrate that the addition of acarbose to patients with type 2 diabetes who are inadequately controlled with metformin and diet is safe and generally well tolerated and that it significantly lowers HbAlc and fasting and postprandial glucoseand insulin levels.

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