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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1990 Sep;30(3):391-6.

The effect of miglitol and acarbose after an oral glucose load: a novel hypoglycaemic mechanism?

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Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Medical University of Southern Africa, Pretoria.


1. Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors such as miglitol and acarbose lower blood glucose after a starch load in healthy volunteers and diabetic patients by interfering with the conversion of disaccharide to monosaccharide in the gastrointestinal tract. 2. The effect of placebo, 100 mg miglitol and 100 mg acarbose given 30 min prior to a 75 g oral glucose load was investigated in nine healthy Caucasian volunteers. 3. Miglitol produced a statistically significant fall in post-peak blood glucose levels when compared with placebo and acarbose. Serum insulin did not change significantly. 4. As miglitol is well absorbed and acarbose is not, it is suggested that miglitol has a systemic hypoglycaemic effect, probably related to its close structural similarity to glucose, which warrants further investigation.

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