Taking Acarbose AND Metformin?

Posted this by accident initially on my alt account that I created when I forgot my password for the main, so apologies for the repetition.

So I am now revising my regime. As provided in other forum posts, 2mg of rapa a week seemingly caused oedema on a confined area of my left cheek based on a biopsy and Dr Green assessment. So it appears as if I am relatively responsive to low dose rapa. As I wait for the swelling to decrease (which it is v slowly doing), I thought I would use this time to consider other approaches.

I am considering taking 1mg/week of rapa after swelling dissipates but not before another 2 months has expired at the earliest.

Within this gap, I am considering taking 50mg acarbose 3x a day at the start of each meal for 3/4 weeks and assessing side effects. If minimal I may introduce metformin 500mg twice a day after breakfast and dinner. Alternatively if the acarbose is poorly tolerated, I will simply proceed with the metformin and see what comes of that experience.

I want to use the time constructively before reintroducing rapa to see how my body reacts and I want a fall back protocol in case the even lower dose of rapa leads to another bout of facial swelling, because even if contained and relatively minor, its not something I feel the need to live with at this stage of my life…perhaps I will reassess my priorities when I’m a tad older. However, I am not sure I have found any literature that supports acarbose+metformin…its typically rapa plus one of these if there is a combination being tested. Furthermore there appears to be a fair bit of skepticism of metformin in the forums, particularly for those who are not diabetic or who are otherwise healthy and perform regular strength training, which I am/do.

Any insight, links would be most welcome!


Hi, be sure to read this entire thread on Acarbose. Acarbose - Details On Another Top Anti-Aging Drug

I’ve found there is a very large variation in the side effects depending upon your diet. If you eat a lot of wheat-based products that gas/flatulence, etc. can be a major pain (for all around you). If you eat more lentils, rice, etc. type diet (more traditional Eastern diet) there seem to be minimal side effects (from my experience).

Metformin - for some people it has bad side effects, but for most people its very benign. I found it very helpful to lose weight - about 15 lbs over a month or 6 weeks.


Haha I did it again and logged in automatically on my alt account. ANYWAY

Thank you kindly @RapAdmin. Your responsiveness is always reassuring!

My goal is principally healthy/tolerable life extension (no thanks caloric restriction diet) and preservation of mental faculties, so forward looking. I am otherwise fit and healthy in the now.

I don’t suppose you have any views or have read/watched any research on a combo approach with acarbose and metformin? What I don’t want to do is mix and match without some scientific basis to do so…

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@RapAdmin what kind of dosage led to the weight loss?

There is no research I’m aware of with regard to the combo of the two. So you’re basically experimenting. You might try one - and track your blood glucose levels at waking, and after meals, … do this for a week, then try the combination and do the same thing and see what differences in results are. (please post results if you do this).

They do similar things, by very different mechanisms. I think they are low risk medications; there seems to be a low probability of hypoglycemia - but I would track your blood glucose levels with at least a finger prick type of glucose monitor for a while just to see how your diet and combo usage is working for your body and biology.


I was taking the suggested TAME trial dosing levels for Metformin when I was doing it a few years back. I think the dosing was 1500mg Slow Release, per day. You can easily do a search on “TAME Metformin Dosing” and double check that dosing… I might be off a bit.

Its a good appetite supressant for many (but not all) people.


This study may be interesting to keep an eye on: A Study to Learn More About How Acarbose and Metformin Work When Taken Together and How Safe They Are in Indian Patients Who Were Recently Diagnosed With Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) - Full Text View - ClinicalTrials.gov

Apparently the two drugs can be prescribed together for treatment of T2D. A meta review of the efficacy of joint treatment was discussed here: Metformin combined with acarbose vs. single medicine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: A meta-analysis - PMC

At least utilsing both appears well tolerated, if only in a particular population.

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Metformin from India is so ridiculously cheap. Too bad its results have been inconclusive in ITP trials…

It’s a huge drop in weight for 6 weeks. What’s the Metformin dose?

Perhaps I should not respond for others but he stated as per above @LaraPo

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I’ve been taking Metformin for a couple of years and also started Acarbose about 4 months ago. Scripts from my regular GP for type2. I’ve been wearing a glucose monitor full time since last August for my own understanding of how my glucose levels vary depending on diet, exercise, sleep, etc. I’ve had no issues taking Metformin and Acarbose together other than an initial gas issue that resolved itself in about 6 weeks. I’ve been pretty gassy for years and now I much less so. Much of that probably has to do with the big changes I’ve made in my diet in the last 14 months. Much more plant based. I used to mostly eat meat. Now I mostly eat plants + wild caught fish like salmon/tuna and shellfish and occasionally chicken. Almost no carbs (sugar), but lots of high fiber veggies.


Forgot to mention, I’m also on Januvia. I know it sounds like Arcarbose may be overkill, but it appears to dampen the peaks at lower levels than Januvia alone.

One thing I did learn from my CGM is that soluble fiber has a significant effect on my glucose level. I take much less now and offset that by taking insoluble fiber instead. I still take much less than before concentrating on fibrous veggies.


Thank you for sharing. I do wonder though if met and acarbose for someone without T2D, generally healthy and who enjoys strength training (aka myself) may be doing more harm than good taking both. The problem is acarbose is the “proven” intervention for longevity given ITP tests whereas metformin failed such rigorous review. Met may also interfere with muscle synthesis. However it does seem to reduce the risk of mental decline whereas the literature on acarbose on this is thin at best.

On paper Rapa is the wonder drug and trying to replicate its benefits via other interventions may be a tall order currently.


Metformin was shown by the ITP to enhance longevity in conjunction with Rapamycin by about 10%. Metformin by itself did not improve longevity.

So Rapamycin plus Metformin OR Acarbose enhances longevity as per the ITP studies. Now, would Acarbose and Metformin work synergistically together with Rapamycin? We do not know.


…I hope so as I’m taking all three. I hope the three together are synergistic. At least my blood sugar is solidly under control. :smile: