Pharmacologic: alpha-glucosidase inhibitors
Management of non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (type 2) in conjunction with dietary therapy; may be used concurrently with sulfonylurea oral hypoglycemic agents.
Lowers blood glucose by inhibiting the enzyme alpha-glucosidase in the GI tract, resulting in delayed glucose absorption. Therapeutic Effects: Lowering of blood glucose in diabetic patients, especially postprandial hyperglycemia.
Adverse Reactions/Side Effects
GI: abdominal pain, diarrhea, flatulence. Hemat: low serum iron.
PHYSICAL THERAPY IMPLICATIONS
Examination and Evaluation
Be alert for signs of hypoglycemia, especially during and after exercise. Common neuromuscular signs include anxiety; restlessness; tingling in hands, feet, lips, or tongue; chills; cold sweats; confusion; difficulty in concentration; drowsiness; excessive hunger; headache; irritability; nervousness; tremor; weakness; unsteady gait. Report persistent or repeated episodes of hypoglycemia to the physician.
Assess blood pressure periodically (See Appendix F). A sudden or sustained increase in blood pressure (hypertension) may indicate problems in diabetes management, and should be reported to the physician.
Monitor signs of low iron levels and subsequent anemia, including fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, chest pain, and pale skin. Report these signs to the physician for further evaluation.
Implement aerobic exercise and endurance training programs to maintain optimal body weight, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce the risk of macrovascular disease (heart attack, stroke) and microvascular problems (reduced blood flow to tissues and organs that causes poor wound healing, neuropathy, retinopathy, and nephropathy).
Encourage patient to monitor blood glucose before and after exercise, and to adjust food intake to maintain normal glycemic levels.
Emphasize the importance of adhering to nutritional guidelines, and the need for periodic assessment of glycemic control (serum glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin levels) throughout the management of diabetes mellitus.
Advise patient about symptoms of hyperglycemia (confusion, drowsiness; flushed, dry skin; fruit-like breath odor; rapid, deep breathing, polyuria; loss of appetite; unusual thirst). Drug dosages may need to be adjusted to prevent repeated episodes of hyperglycemia.
Instruct patient to report troublesome GI problems, including severe or prolonged diarrhea, flatulence, and abdominal pain.
Absorption: Completely absorbed at lower doses (25 mg); 50–70% absorbed at higher doses (100 mg).
Distribution: Distributes primarily into extracellular fluid; small amounts enter breast milk.
Metabolism and Excretion: Not metabolized; action is primarily local in the GI tract; amounts that are absorbed are excreted mostly unchanged in urine.