To demonstrate the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of acarbose compared with placebo in patients with type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled with diet and insulin.


A multicenter randomized double-blind placebo-controlled parallel-group comparison study was conducted. The trial was 26 weeks with a 2-week screening period and a 24-week period of treatment with acarbose or placebo, with forced titration from 25 mg t.i.d. to 50 mg t.i.d. after 4 weeks, and titration of 50 mg t.i.d. to 100 mg t.i.d. after 12 weeks based on glucose control. The dosage of insulin was toremain stable. The primary efficacy variable was mean change from baseline in HbA1c, and secondary efficacy variables included mean changes in fasting and postprandial plasma glucose and triglyceride levels.


The addition of acarbose to the treatment of patients receiving background insulin and diet therapy resulted in a statistically significant reduction in mean HbA1c of 0.69% compared with placebo. Therewere statistically significant reductions in postprandial plasma glucose and glucose area under the curve, and in postprandial serum triglyceride levels in the acarbose-treated patients. Gastrointestinal side effects were more frequently reported in the acarbose-treated patients. There were no significant differences in hypoglycemic events or liver transaminase elevations between groups.


This study demonstrated that the addition of acarbose to patients with type 2 diabetes who are inadequately controlled with insulin and diet is safe and generally well tolerated and that it significantly lowers HbA1c and postprandial glucose levels.

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