Acarbose reversibly bind to pancreatic alpha-amylase and membrane-bound intestinal alpha-glucoside hydrolases. These enzymes inhibit hydrolysis of complex starches to oligosaccharides in the lumen of the small intestine and hydrolysis of oligosaccharides, trisaccharides, and disaccharides to glucose and other monosaccharides in the brush border of the small intestine.
Used to reduce blood gluose in patients with type 2 diabetes. Acarbose is a complex oligosaccharide that delays the digestion of ingested carbohydrates, thereby resulting in a smaller rise in blood glucose concentration following meals. Acarbose binds to and inhibits alpha amylase and alpha-gluocside hydrolases. In diabetic patients, this enzyme inhibition results in a delayed glucose absorption and a lowering of postprandial hyperglycemia.