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|DRUG NAME||acarbose (Precose), miglitol (Glyset)|
|MECHANISM OF ACTION||Inhibit alpha-glucosidase enzyme in the small intestine → delay absorption of ingested carbohydrates → smaller rise in blood glucose|
|ROUTE(S) OF ADMINISTRATION|
|CONTRAINDICATIONS AND CAUTIONS|
|NURSING CONSIDERATIONS: ALPHA-GLUCOSIDASE INHIBITORS|
|ASSESSMENT AND MONITORING||Assess|
Now, type 2 diabetes mellitus is characterized by insulin resistance, which is when tissue cells have trouble responding to insulin to use glucose from the blood, while in type 1 diabetes mellitus, there’s no insulin at all.
As a result, tissue cells starve for energy despite having high blood glucose levels, which is called hyperglycemia.
Once administered, these medications act in the small intestine, where they inhibit the enzyme alpha-glucosidase, which helps digest complex carbohydrates into simple carbohydrates, such as glucose, that can be absorbed through the lining of the intestine and into the blood.
Because of that, clients taking alpha-glucosidase can often present with gastrointestinal side effects, such as abdominal pain, flatulence, and diarrhea. In addition, acarbose may lead to hepatic injury, while clients on miglitol may develop a skin rash.
As far as contraindications go, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors should not be given to clients with gastrointestinal conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD for short, as well as ileus, colonic ulceration, or intestinal obstruction.
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