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What Is Miglitol?

Alex Tree
Alex Tree

Miglitol is a prescription medication primarily used to treat type 2 diabetes in people that cannot control the disease with diet alone. Sometimes the medication is also used to lower cholesterol levels. For diabetes treatment, it is taken at the beginning of each meal and works by slowing the absorption of sugar. Miglitol can contribute to lowering one’s blood sugar too low, so side effects of this, like shakiness and or pale skin, are serious and should be evaluated by or at least discussed with a medical professional. Ideally, the medication is not combined with other meds that can potentially interact with it, but sometimes this is necessary.

Studies show that miglitol can reduce a person’s total cholesterol. This is an off-label use of the drug, meaning it is not officially approved by a government body. Many drugs are very effective at their off-label uses, but this medication is not one of them. Other medications are typically used for high cholesterol because they are more effective and officially approved for that use.

Anatomical model of the human body
Anatomical model of the human body

Miglitol is most effective when used right before consuming major meals, but it should not be used more than three times daily. The dosing varies from patient to patient, and it is best to follow the instructions given by a health professional rather than taking the average dose. If a dose is skipped, the next dose should be taken with the next meal. This drug is usually not meant to be taken in double doses, and doing so can result in dangerous side effects.

The medication has several common side effects, including a bloated feeling, excessive gas, or experiencing a change in bowel movements. These side effects are relatively minor and sometimes diminish or go away completely as the patient’s body adjusts to the drug. A less common side effect is a skin rash, which is also relatively minor. Side effects vary, and it is possible for a new patient of miglitol to experience undocumented effects.

All other drugs should be discussed with a doctor before consumption, because they might interact with miglitol in negative ways. Even everyday, over the counter medications should be discussed, including aspirin, allergy medications, and cough medicines. In addition, alcohol should not be consumed because it can result in dangerously low blood sugar in combination with miglitol. If severe side effects like low blood sugar, seizures and trouble breathing occur, emergency services should be contacted.

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      Anatomical model of the human body