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OBJECTIVE -The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between gastric emptying and the efficacy of an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor in NIDDM patients.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS -Sixteen NIDDM patients (4 patients treated with diet therapy alone and 12 receiving a sulfonylurea) were given 0.6 mg of voglibose daily for 4 weeks. The efficacy of voglibose was assessed by measurement of HbA1c, fasting plasma glucose, and 45- and 120-min postprandial plasma glucose (PPG) and serum insulin concentrations before and after the 4 weeks of voglibose therapy. Gastric emptying was evaluated using the proportional cumulative area under the absorption curve (% AUC) of plasma acetaminophen concentration at 60 min after ingestion of a liquid test meal containing 20 mg/kg of acetaminophen. These measurements were also taken before and after the therapy.RESULTS -The change in the 45-min PPG levels from the fasting state correlated significantly with the % AUC of the plasma acetaminophen concentrations (r = 0.625, P = 0.0096) before the voglibose administrations. The mean 45-min and 2-h PPG levels were reduced significantly after 4 weeks of voglibose (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively). Two-hour postprandial serum insulin concentrations were also significantly reduced at the end of the treatment period (P < 0.05). The changes in the PPG levels between pre- and posttreatment periods correlated significantly with the % AUC of the plasma acetaminophen concentrations before the treatment period (r = 0.499, P = 0.0490; r = 0.713, P = 0.0019, respectively). There was no significant difference in the plasma acetaminophen concentrations between pre- and posttreatment periods.CONCLUSIONS -The rate of gastric emptying affects the efficacy of voglibose therapy in NIDDM patients. Voglibose did not however alter the rate of gastric emptying.