Highlights for empagliflozin
Empagliflozin is used along with diet and exercise to help lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. It’s also used to reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular problems in people with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Empagliflozin works in your kidneys to remove sugar from your blood and moves the sugar into your urine.
The most common side effect that occurs with empagliflozin is a urinary tract infection. Symptoms include a burning sensation when urinating, cloudy urine, or pain in your pelvis or back.
This medication can increase your cholesterol levels. If you already have high cholesterol, your doctor will monitor your cholesterol closely and treat it if necessary.
If you take empagliflozin with other diabetes medications, your blood sugar might get too low (hypoglycemia). Symptoms may include shakiness, confusion, sweating, rapid heartbeat, nervousness, headache, weakness, or fatigue. Contact your doctor if you experience these symptoms.
What is empagliflozin?
This drug is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet.
This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you need to take it with other drugs.
Why it's used
This drug is used to treat type 2 diabetes along with diet and exercise to help lower blood sugar in adults.
How it works
This drug belongs to a class of drugs called sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2).
empagliflozin Side Effects
Most Common Side Effects
The most common side effect that occurs with empagliflozin is:
urinary tract infection. Symptoms may include:
- a burning sensation when you urinate
- cloudy urine
- pain in your pelvis or back
Your doctor will need to treat you if you have a urinary tract infection. If you continue to use empagliflozin, these symptoms may come back.
Serious Side Effects
If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
dehydration. Symptoms may include:
- feeling faint
- weakness, especially when you stand up
yeast infection. Symptoms in women may include:
- vaginal odor
- white or yellowish vaginal discharge
- vaginal itching
Symptoms in men may include:
- redness, itching, or swelling of the penis
- rash of the penis
- foul-smelling discharge from the penis
- pain in the skin around the penis
low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Symptoms may include:
- feeling jittery
- fast heartbeat
allergic reactions. Symptoms may include:
- swelling of your face, throat, lips, and other areas on your skin
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
- raised, red areas on your skin (hives)
- skin rash
kidney damage. Symptoms may include:
- more frequent urination
- swollen ankles and feet
- muscle cramps
increased cholesterol levels
diabetic ketoacidosis. Symptoms can include:
- excessive thirst
- urinating more often than normal
- stomach pain
- shortness of breath
- fruity smelling breath
This drug doesn’t cause drowsiness.
empagliflozin May Interact with Other Medications
Empagliflozin can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.
Limit your use of alcohol. Drinking alcohol can lower your blood glucose control and increase your risk of hypoglycemia if you take medication for diabetes.
Medications That Might Interact with This Drug
Drugs for water retention (diuretics)
These drugs increase urination. Empagliflozin
can also increase urination, so taking these drugs together can increase your
risk of dehydration.
These drugs increase urination. Empagliflozin can also increase urination, so taking these drugs together can increase your risk of dehydration.
Insulin or drugs that cause the release of insulin
Empagliflozin and these drugs all
decrease your blood sugar level. Taking empagliflozin with these drugs could
cause your blood sugar level to be too low (hypoglycemia).
Empagliflozin and these drugs all decrease your blood sugar level. Taking empagliflozin with these drugs could cause your blood sugar level to be too low (hypoglycemia).
How to Take empagliflozin (Dosage)
All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:
- your age
- the condition being treated
- how severe your condition is
- other medical conditions you have
- how you react to the first dose
What Are You Taking This Medication For?
Type 2 diabetes
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 10 mg and 25 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)
Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)
- Initial dose is 10
mg, taken once per day in the morning.
- Doses may be
increased up to 25 mg, taken once per day in the morning.
Dosage for people younger than 18 years old hasn’t been
- Initial dose is 10 mg, taken once per day in the morning.
- Doses may be increased up to 25 mg, taken once per day in the morning.
Dosage for people younger than 18 years old hasn’t been established.
This drug comes with serious risks if you don't take it as prescribed.
If you don't take it at all
If you don’t take this drug, your blood sugar levels can reach dangerously high levels. This can lead to complications such as nerve damage, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and damage to your eyes.
If you skip or miss doses
The medication may not work as well and your blood sugar levels may not be controlled properly.
If you take too much
If you take too much, your blood sugar levels may become too low.
What to do if you miss a dose
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you don’t remember until your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Don’t take two doses of this drug at the same time. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about a missed dose.
How to tell if the drug is working
If the drug is working, your blood sugar levels will go down, or they will stay within the normal range.
This drug is a long-term drug treatment.
Are there any alternatives?
There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.
- Jardiance - empagliflozin tablets. (2016, July). Retrieved from http://docs.boehringer-ingelheim.com/Prescribing%20Information/PIs/Jardiance/jardiance.pdf
- Jardiance (empagliflozin) tablets, for oral use. (2016, December). Retrieved from http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/204629s008lbl.pdf
- American Diabetes Association. (2013, August 21). DKA (ketoacidosis) & ketones. Retrieved from http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/ketoacidosis-dka.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/
Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group
Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on March 30, 2017