Empagliflozin | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

Empagliflozin, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Jardiance
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for Empagliflozin

Oral tablet
1

Empagliflozin is used along with diet and exercise to help lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

2

Empagliflozin works in your kidneys to remove sugar from your blood and moves the sugar into your urine. 

3

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.

4

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. 

5

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.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Dehydration

This drug can cause some people to lose body water and salt (dehydration). Symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, feeling faint, lightheadedness, or weakness, especially when you stand up. If you notice these symptoms, contact your doctor.

Yeast infection

Talk to your doctor about what to do if you get symptoms of a yeast infection:

  • Symptoms in women include vaginal odor, white or yellowish vaginal discharge, and vaginal itching.
  • Symptoms in men include redness, itching, swelling, and rash of the penis. They may also include pain in the skin around the penis and foul-smelling discharge from the penis.

Ketoacidosis

This drug may cause diabetic ketoacidosis. This is a serious complication of diabetes. It happens when your body makes high levels of the blood acids called ketones. This condition should be treated with insulin. If you develop ketoacidosis, your doctor may have you stop taking this drug temporarily or permanently.

Urinary tract infections

This drug can cause severe urinary tract infections. If you have any signs of a urinary tract infection, tell your doctor right away. Symptoms can include a burning sensation when you urinate, cloudy urine, and pain in your pelvis or back.

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. It’s often used with other medications.

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2).

More Details

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2). A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They’re often used to treat similar conditions. This drug works in your kidneys to remove sugar from your blood and moves the sugar into your urine. 

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SECTION 2 of 5

Empagliflozin Side Effects

Oral tablet

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:

    • dizziness
    • feeling faint
    • lightheadedness
    • 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:

    • drowsiness
    • headache
    • confusion
    • weakness
    • hunger
    • irritability
    • sweating
    • 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 problems

  • increased cholesterol levels

  • diabetic ketoacidosis. Symptoms can include:

    • excessive thirst
    • urinating more often than normal
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • stomach pain
    • weakness
    • shortness of breath
    • fruity smelling breath
    • confusion
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

Empagliflozin May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

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.

Alcohol 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)
  • hydrochlorothiazide
  • furosemide

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
  • chlorpropamide
  • glipizide
  • glimepiride
  • glyburide
  • tolbutamide
  • tolazamide
  • repaglinide
  • nateglinide

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). 

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
high cholesterol
People with high cholesterol

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.

pregnant women
Pregnant women

This drug is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Speak with your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Empagliflozin should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known if this drug passes through breast milk. You and your doctor should decide if you’ll take this drug or breastfeed. 

for children
For children

The safety and effectiveness of this drug in children haven’t been established.

allergies
Allergies

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction, causing symptoms such as:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives 

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to empagliflozin or any other ingredient. Taking it again could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take Empagliflozin (Dosage)

Oral tablet

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)
  • 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.
Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years old hasn’t been established.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

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.

Important considerations for taking this drug
take in morning
Take it in the morning
can crush or cut
You can cut or crush the tablet
storage
Store this drug from 68–77°F (20–25ºC)
See Details
refillable
Prescription is refillable
travel
Travel
See Details
clinical monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details
not usually stocked
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug, so call ahead
prior authorization
Insurance
See Details

Store this drug from 68–77°F (20–25ºC)

Don’t freeze this drug.

Keep it away from high temperature.

Keep container tightly closed.

Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store your drugs away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines; they can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to produce your pharmacy’s preprinted label clearly identifying the medication. Keep the original pharmacy prescription-labeled box when traveling with your medication.
  • Don’t put this medicine in your glove compartment or leave it in the car, especially when the temperature is hot or freezing.

Clinical monitoring

Blood sugar: Your doctor will check your blood sugar levels regularly to make sure empagliflozin is working. You may also monitor your own blood sugar level at home if your doctor has asked you to use a blood glucose meter.

Kidney function: Your doctor will check your kidney function with blood tests before you take empagliflozin and periodically during treatment. If your kidney function is poor, or worsens during therapy, your doctor may not start or continue your empagliflozin therapy.

Cholesterol level: Your doctor will check your cholesterol levels, because this medication may cause your cholesterol to increase.

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for this drug.

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.

SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does Empagliflozin Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for Empagliflozin

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for Empagliflozin on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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 January 21, 2016

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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