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Miglitol is a medication used alongside diet and exercise to treat type 2 diabetes by inhibiting the enzyme alpha-glucosidase, slowing carbohydrate digestion, and reducing post-meal blood sugar spikes. It comes in tablet form with strengths of 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg. The initial dosage for adults is 25 mg three times a day, which can be adjusted based on efficacy and tolerance. Common side effects of Miglitol may include gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea & flatulence. Patients with certain gastrointestinal or kidney conditions or those with hypersensitivity to miglitol should not use it. Regular monitoring and consultations with a healthcare provider are essential.

Miglitol Overview

Miglitol is an oral medication prescribed for the management of type 2 diabetes, intended to be used in conjunction with an exercise regimen & proper diet. It works by inhibiting the enzyme alpha-glucosidase, which is involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract. This action helps to slow the digestion & absorption of carbohydrates. It, then, results in a more gradual increase in blood sugar levels after meals.

Miglitol is available in tablet form in strengths of 25, 50, and 100 mg. The recommended initial dosage for adults is 25 mg, taken orally three times a day, with each dose taken at the beginning of a main meal. Based on efficacy and tolerance, the dosage can be increased after 4 to 8 weeks to 50 mg three times a day and, if necessary, further increased to 100 mg three times a day after an additional three months. The maintenance dosage typically ranges from 50 mg to 100 mg three times daily.

The more common side effects of Miglitol include gastrointestinal issues such as flatulence, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, and increased bowel movements. These side effects often diminish as the body adjusts to the medication. However, severe reactions like bloody stools or severe constipation require immediate medical attention. Miglitol is mostly contraindicated in patients with diabetic ketoacidosis, certain gastrointestinal conditions, and known hypersensitivity to the drug.

Patients should avoid alcohol and tobacco while taking miglitol, as these can affect blood sugar control. Regular blood sugar monitoring and medical check-ups are crucial to ensure effective diabetes management. Miglitol’s interactions with other medications and its contraindications underscore the importance of thorough medical consultation before use.

What Are the Uses of Miglitol?

Miglitol is used along with proper diet and exercise to treat:

  • Type 2 diabetes

What Are the Forms & Strengths of Miglitol?

Miglitol comes in a tablet form and has the following strengths:

  • Tablet: 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg

What Are the Recommended Dosage of Miglitol?

Dosage for Adults with Diabetes Type 2
  • Initial Dosage: 25 mg taken orally
    • Frequency: Three times a day
  • Dose Adjustment After 4 to 8 Weeks: May increase to 50 mg orally three times a day if needed.
  • Dose Adjustment After an Additional 3 Months: May increase to 100 mg orally three times a day if required, based on glycosylated hemoglobin levels.
  • Maintenance Dosage Range: 50 mg to 100 mg
    • Frequency: Three times a day
  • Maximum Dosage: 100 mg

[Note: Remember, these recommendations mentioned above may vary person to person. Discuss it with your pharmacist or doctor, and they’ll customize your Miglitol dosage accordingly.]

How to Use Miglitol? 

To use miglitol effectively, follow these guidelines:

  • Take miglitol three times a day, specifically at the beginning of each main meal. It’s crucial to take each dose with the first bite of your meal to maximize its effectiveness in controlling blood sugar levels.
  • Always adhere to the directions on your prescription label. Do not alter the amount you take without consulting your doctor.
  • Your doctor may occasionally adjust your dose to achieve the best results. It’s important to communicate any issues or unusual effects you experience so that your doctor can tailor the treatment to your needs.
  • Begin with a initial dose of 25 mg of miglitol. Depending on your body’s response and to minimize the side effects, your doctor may gradually increase the dosage. This approach helps identify the lowest effective dose needed to control your blood sugar adequately.
  • Do not increase the maximum recommended dosage of 100 mg three times daily.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all dosage regimen for managing diabetes with miglitol or any other diabetes medication. The dosage should be customized based on your body’s response and tolerance to the medication.

[Note: Your doctor will decide the accurate amount of Miglitol for you based on your condition, following guidelines & studies on the drug. They’ll adjust it as needed over time.]

How Does Miglitol Work?

Miglitol works by inhibiting the action of alpha-glucosidase, an enzyme found in the digestive tract. This enzyme helps further in breaking down complex carbohydrates into simpler sugars. By blocking this enzyme, miglitol slows down the digestion & absorption of carbohydrates from the food you eat. As a result, there is a slower and more gradual increase in sugar levels in the blood following meals. To optimize the benefits of miglitol, it is commonly recommended to combine this medication with changes to diet and exercise. Implementing a healthy lifestyle not only enhances the effectiveness of miglitol but also contributes to overall better management of diabetes.

Important Safety Information for Using Miglitol

What Are the Side Effects of Miglitol?

Miglitol can cause several side effects, some of which may diminish as your body adjusts to the medication. Although many of these side effects do not usually require medical attention, it is crucial to speak with your primary caregiver for guidance on how to manage or reduce their impact. Here are some of the more common side effects associated with miglitol. If these or other side effects continue, become bothersome, or you have concerns about them:

  • Loose stools
  • Stomach or abdomen pain
  • Increase in bowel movements
  • Passing gas
  • Bloated full feeling
  • Soft stools
  • Excess air or gas in the intestines or stomach

These side effects are considered serious and could signify a severe reaction to the medication or a medical condition (underlying) that needs immediate treatment. If you experience any of the following serious side effects while taking Miglitol, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention or call 911. Serious Miglitol side effects may include:

  • Bloody or tarry stools
  • Severe constipation or diarrhea
  • Diarrhea that contains mucus or blood
  • Rectal bleeding

[Note: Remember, this list might not cover all potential side effects. Always consult with your doctor or healthcare giver for medical advice about side effects.]

Are There Any Warnings for Miglitol? 

Miglitol comes with several important warnings that you should be aware of, especially if you belong to certain groups at higher risk for complications. Discuss these concerns with your primary caregiver or pharmacist to explore alternative treatments if necessary. Here are the key warnings for Miglitol:

  • Hypoglycemia (Really Low Blood Sugar): Miglitol can cause significantly low blood sugar levels, particularly when used in combination with other diabetes drugs like sulfonylureas or insulin. It’s essential to have glucose tablets or gel on hand, as foods containing sucrose (table sugar) are ineffective in correcting low blood sugar caused by Miglitol.
  • Kidney Problems: Miglitol is generally not recommended for individuals with poor kidney function. If you have a history of kidney issues, inform your primary caregiver, as they may prescribe a different medication that is safer for your condition.
  • Gastrointestinal Issues: Avoid using Miglitol if you have had intestinal problems such as inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers, blockages, or issues with digesting or absorbing nutrients. Your healthcare provider can suggest other medications that may be more suitable and less likely to aggravate these conditions.

What Are the Miglitol Precautions?

When using miglitol or any other medication, it’s important to consider both the benefits and risks. Consult with your primary caregiver to make an informed decision. Here are some precautions to consider for miglitol:

  • Allergies: Inform your doctor about any past allergic reactions you’ve had to medications, including miglitol, as well as allergies to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. This helps avoid any allergic reactions.
  • Age Considerations: Miglitol has been studied primarily in adults. There isn’t specific information regarding its use in children, and it’s generally not recommended for pediatric use due to a lack of data.
  • Effects on Different Age Groups: Research indicates that miglitol does not cause different side effects in older adults compared to younger adults.
  • Breastfeeding: The effects of miglitol on nursing infants are not well studied. If you are breastfeeding, discuss the potential risks & benefits of using this drug with your primary caregiver.
  • Medication Sharing: Do not share miglitol with others, even if they have the same condition. This can lead to dosing errors and potential harm.
  • Diabetes Management Education: Participate in a diabetes education program to learn more about managing diabetes with medications, diet, exercise, and regular medical check-ups.
  • Monitoring Blood Sugar: Learn how to recognize the symptoms of high and low blood sugar, and know how to treat low blood sugar. Check the levels of your blood sugar on a regular basis as directed by your primary caregiver.
  • Routine Medical Tests: While taking miglitol, regular lab and medical tests (such as kidney function tests and hemoglobin A1c levels) are important. Ensure you keep all scheduled appointments to monitor your condition and the medication’s effectiveness.

These precautions will help ensure that you use miglitol safely and effectively under the guidance of your healthcare provider.

What Are the Contraindications of Miglitol? 

Miglitol should not be used in certain conditions where its use could lead to serious complications. Here are the contraindications for miglitol:

  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis: Miglitol is contraindicated in patients with diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a risky diabetes situation where the body produces blood acids (ketones) in excessive amounts.
  • Gastrointestinal Conditions: Miglitol should not be used by patients with partial intestinal obstruction, colonic ulceration, or inflammatory bowel disease. It is also contraindicated in individuals predisposed to intestinal obstruction.
  • Chronic Intestinal Diseases: Patients with chronic intestinal diseases that involve significant digestion or absorption disorders should avoid miglitol, especially if these conditions could worsen due to the formation of gas in excessive amounts in the intestines.
  • Hypersensitivity: If you have a known hypersensitivity or allergy to miglitol or any of its components, you should not take this medication.

What If You Missed a Dose of Miglitol?

  • If you realize you’ve missed your dose but are still eating your meal, take the missed dose immediately while you continue to eat.
  • If you remember, after you’ve finished eating, do not take the missed dose. Miglitol needs to be taken during a meal to be effective.
  • Simply wait until your next main meal to take your next scheduled dose. It’s important not to take a double dose or extra doses to make up for the missed one.

[Note: If you have missed a dose of Miglitol and are unsure about when to take the next one, quickly consult your doctor or pharmacist.]

What Happens If You Take Too Much of Miglitol?

If you take too much miglitol, the consequences are generally not as severe as those from overdosing on sulfonylureas or insulin, which can lead to dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Overdosing on miglitol typically results in gastrointestinal symptoms such as:

  • Flatulence
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Discomfort

Since miglitol works locally in the intestines and does not have significant systemic effects, serious reactions affecting the whole body are not expected. However, in the event of an overdose:

  • If severe symptoms occur: Such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911 immediately as these could indicate a more serious condition or a different medical issue.
  • For non-severe symptoms: Contact a poison control center for guidance on how to proceed. Residents in the US can call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

[Note: If you consumed more than the recommended Miglitol dose, get medical help right away or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.]

How to Store a Miglitol?

  • Keep miglitol out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Store Miglitol at room temperature, ideally between 15 & 30 degrees Celsius (59 & 86 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Safely dispose of any unused miglitol after the expiration date. 

[Note: You can discuss with your healthcare professional or doctor about the proper disposal of any unused medicine & any questions you may have regarding its storage.]

What Medications Interact with Miglitol?

When taking miglitol, it’s crucial to be aware of potential drug interactions, as they can affect how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. Here are some specific interactions to consider:

  • Abiraterone Acetate
  • Chloroquine
  • Chlorothiazide
  • Chlorthalidone
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Delafloxacin
  • Enoxacin
  • Furosemide
  • Gatifloxacin
  • Gemifloxacin
  • Grepafloxacin
  • Hydrochlorothiazide
  • Hydroflumethiazide
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Indapamide
  • Insulin
  • Insulin Aspart, Recombinant
  • Insulin Bovine
  • Insulin Degludec
  • Insulin Detemir
  • Insulin Glargine, Recombinant
  • Insulin Glulisine
  • Insulin Lispro, Recombinant
  • Lanreotide Acetate
  • Levofloxacin
  • Lomefloxacin
  • Metolazone
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Norfloxacin
  • Octreotide Acetate
  • Ofloxacin
  • Pasireotide Diaspartate
  • Polythiazide
  • Pramlintide
  • Somatrogon-ghla
  • Sparfloxacin
  • Thioctic Acid
  • Triamterene
  • Trovafloxacin

What Are the Other Miglitol Interactions?

When taking miglitol, there are several considerations regarding its interactions with food, alcohol, tobacco, and other medical conditions:

  • Food Interactions: Since miglitol works by affecting carbohydrate digestion, the types and timing of food consumed can impact its effectiveness. Discuss with your healthcare provider how to best coordinate your meals and miglitol intake.
  • Alcohol: Consuming alcohol while taking miglitol may affect blood sugar levels. Alcohol can unpredictably increase or decrease blood sugar and potentially interfere with miglitol’s effectiveness. It’s important to discuss the safe consumption of alcohol with your healthcare provider.
  • Tobacco: Using tobacco products can also impact the effectiveness of miglitol, as well as the overall management of diabetes. Smoking increases the possibility of cardiovascular diseases and may worsen diabetes complications. Discuss smoking cessation strategies with your healthcare provider.
  • Other Medical Problems: Certain medical conditions can affect the use of miglitol. Inform your doctor of any other medical issues, especially:
    • Intestinal problems like inflammatory bowel disease, colonic ulceration, or any condition that could be worsened by increased gas formation.
    • Kidney disease, as miglitol is partly excreted through the kidneys and may require dosage adjustment.
    • Liver disease, which might impact drug metabolism.

[Note: This isn’t a complete list, & there could be other drugs that interact with Miglitol. Make sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist about any prescription, over-the-counter medicines, & herbal products you’re taking.]

What Are the Miglitol Alternatives?

Several alternative medications to Miglitol are available for managing type 2 diabetes, which is used in conjunction with a proper diet and exercise. Here are some commonly used alternatives:

[Note: Your doctor will choose what is the best for you. Don’t use any of these alternative medications without conversing with your healthcare provider. Taking them by yourself can cause serious side effects.]

Miglitol Cost & Coupons

Miglitol may not be consistently covered by Medicare, & coverage details might vary depending on the specific insurance plan you may have. For those not covered or seeking alternative purchasing options, buying Miglitol online from Canada can be a cost-effective solution. American patients often order Miglitol in the USA from Canadian pharmacies to capitalize on lower prices. At Polar Bear Meds, you can utilize the Miglitol coupon code WELCOMEPB10 to secure a 10% discount on your first purchase. This approach helps manage the costs of Miglitol efficiently while ensuring you receive your medication without hassle.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between acarbose and miglitol?

The main difference between acarbose and miglitol lies in their chemical structures and how the body handles them. Acarbose is an oligosaccharide, while miglitol is a monosaccharide. This means miglitol is absorbed more effectively by the body than acarbose. However, miglitol is not metabolized; instead, it is excreted directly by the kidneys.

What are the brand names for Miglitol?

The brand name for miglitol is Glyset. It belongs to a class of medications known as alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, which function by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates. This action helps prevent significant spikes in blood sugar levels after meals. Miglitol is used primarily to treat Type II diabetes mellitus (also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes).

What is the efficacy of miglitol?

The efficacy of miglitol depends significantly on its timing of intake and the composition of the diet. For optimal effectiveness, miglitol should be taken at the start of a meal. Its action is influenced by the amount of poly and oligosaccharides in the food consumed. Miglitol works by inhibiting the enzyme alpha-glucosidase in the digestive tract, which reduces the breakdown of sugars. This results in fewer sugars being available for absorption, thereby helping to reduce spikes in blood sugar levels after meals (postprandial hyperglycemia).

Does miglitol cause constipation?

Miglitol generally does not commonly cause constipation; instead, it is more likely to cause diarrhea. However, in rare cases, miglitol can lead to a serious intestinal condition known as pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis. If you experience persistent diarrhea or constipation or notice blood or mucus in your stool while taking miglitol, it is important to contact your doctor immediately. Although a very adverse or serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare, it’s crucial to be aware of the possibility & seek immediate medical attention if you experience or notice symptoms of an adverse allergic reaction, such as rash, swelling, itching (especially of the tongue/face/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

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