1. Empagliflozin oral tablet is available as a brand-name drug. It’s not available in a generic version. Brand name: Jardiance.
  2. Empagliflozin comes only as a tablet you take by mouth.
  3. Empagliflozin oral tablet 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 caused by heart problems in adults with heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Empagliflozin is a prescription drug. It comes as an oral tablet.

Empagliflozin is available only as the brand-name drug Jardiance. It’s not available in a generic form.

Empagliflozin may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you need to take it with other drugs.

Why it’s used

Empagliflozin is used along with diet and exercise to help lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It’s also used to reduce the risk of death caused by heart problems in people with heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

How it works

Empagliflozin belongs to a class of drugs called sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2). A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

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

Empagliflozin doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Empagliflozin can cause mild or serious side effects. The following list contains some of the key side effects that may occur while taking empagliflozin. This list does not include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of empagliflozin, or tips on how to deal with a troubling side effect, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

More common side effects

The more common side effects that can occur with empagliflozin include:

  • Urinary tract infection. Symptoms may include:
    • a burning sensation when you urinate
    • cloudy urine
    • pain in your pelvis or back
    • the need to urinate more often
    • the need to urinate right away
    • blood in your urine

Call your doctor if you have these side effects or think you have a urinary tract infection.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Dehydration. Symptoms can include:
    • dizziness
    • feeling faint
    • lightheadedness
    • weakness, especially when you stand up
  • Yeast infection in women. Symptoms can include:
    • vaginal odor
    • white or yellowish vaginal discharge
    • vaginal itching
  • Yeast infection in men. Symptoms can 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
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Symptoms can include:
    • drowsiness
    • headache
    • confusion
    • weakness
    • hunger
    • irritability
    • sweating
    • feeling jittery
    • fast heartbeat
    • dizziness
  • Allergic reactions. Symptoms can include:
    • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, throat, or other areas on your skin
    • trouble swallowing or breathing
    • hives (raised, red areas on your skin)
    • skin rash
  • Kidney problems. Tell your doctor if you’re eating and drinking less than usual (for instance, if you have an illness and can’t eat). Also tell your doctor if you’re losing fluid from your body (for instance, due to vomiting, diarrhea, or being in the sun too long).
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis. Symptoms can include:
    • excessive thirst
    • urinating more often than normal
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • stomach pain
    • tiredness
    • weakness
    • shortness of breath
    • breath that smells fruity
    • confusion
  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Fournier’s gangrene (necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum). Symptoms can include:
    • pain, tenderness, swelling, or reddening in the genital or rectal area
    • fever above 100.4°F (38°C)
    • malaise (overall feeling of discomfort)

Empagliflozin oral tablet can interact with several other medications. Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some can interfere with how well a drug works, while others can cause increased side effects.

Below is a list of medications that can interact with empagliflozin. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with empagliflozin.

Before taking empagliflozin, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Diuretics (water pills)

These drugs increase urination. Empagliflozin can also increase urination, so taking these drugs together can increase your risk of dehydration. Examples of these drugs include:

  • hydrochlorothiazide
  • furosemide

Insulin and other diabetes drugs

Empagliflozin and these drugs all decrease your blood sugar level. Taking empagliflozin with these drugs could cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Examples of these drugs include:

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

The empagliflozin dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of the condition you’re using empagliflozin to treat
  • your age
  • the form of empagliflozin you take
  • other medical conditions you may have

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage and adjust it over time to reach the dosage that’s right for you. They’ll ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to suit your needs.

Drug form and strengths

Brand: Jardiance

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 10 mg, 25 mg

Dosage for type 2 diabetes

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

  • Typical starting dosage: 10 mg, taken once per day in the morning.
  • Dosage increases: Dosage may be increased up to 25 mg, taken once per day in the morning.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

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

Dosage to reduce the risk of death caused by heart problems in people with heart disease and type 2 diabetes

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

  • Typical starting dosage: 10 mg, taken once per day in the morning.
  • Dosage increases: Dosage may be increased up to 25 mg, taken once per day in the morning.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

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

Special dosage considerations

For people with kidney problems: If your kidney function decreases, your doctor may have you stop taking this drug. Don’t take this medication if you have severe kidney disease or if you’re on dialysis.

This drug comes with several warnings.

Dehydration warning

This drug can cause some people to lose body water and salt. If you have symptoms of dehydration, call your doctor. Symptoms often occur after you stand up and can include:

  • dizziness
  • feeling faint
  • lightheadedness
  • weakness

Yeast infection warning

This drug can cause a yeast infection. Talk to your doctor about what to do if you get symptoms of a yeast infection:

  • Symptoms in women can include vaginal odor, white or yellowish vaginal discharge, and vaginal itching.
  • Symptoms in men can 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 warning

This drug may cause diabetic ketoacidosis. This is a serious complication of diabetes that can be fatal. 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 for a certain amount of time. Or they have you stop taking it permanently.

Urinary tract infection warning

This drug can cause severe urinary tract infections. If you have any signs of a urinary tract infection, call your doctor right away. Symptoms can include:

  • a burning sensation when you urinate
  • cloudy urine
  • pain in your pelvis or back

Genital area infection warning

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a warning that applies to empagliflozin and similar diabetes drugs. This warning is about a rare but serious infection of the genitals and the area around the genitals.

This infection is called necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum (a section of skin near the anus). It’s also called Fournier’s gangrene. This potentially life-threatening infection has occurred in people taking empagliflozin.

Call your doctor right away if you’re taking empagliflozin and have symptoms of this condition. Possible symptoms include:

  • tenderness, redness, or swelling of your perineum or genitals
  • a fever above 100.4°F (38°C)
  • a feeling of being generally unwell

Hypersensitivity/Allergy warning

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

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, throat, or other areas on your skin
  • hives

If you develop these symptoms, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

Alcohol interaction warning

Limit your use of alcohol while taking this drug. Drinking alcohol can lower your blood glucose control and increase your risk of hypoglycemia if you take medication for diabetes.

Warning for 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 needed.

Warnings for other groups

For pregnant women: Empagliflozin is not recommended during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Research in animals has shown negative effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking this drug, call your doctor right away.

For women who are breastfeeding: Empagliflozin is not recommended while breastfeeding. It isn’t known if this drug passes through breast milk.

For children: It hasn’t been established that this drug is safe or effective for use in children.

Empagliflozin oral tablet is used for long-term treatment. It 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.

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or seek guidance from the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or through their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

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: Your blood sugar levels should go down, or they should stay within the normal range.

Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes empagliflozin for you.

General

  • Take this drug in the morning.
  • You can cut or crush the tablet.

Storage

  • Store this drug at a temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
  • Don’t freeze this drug.
  • Keep the drug’s container tightly closed.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

Refills

A prescription for this medication is refillable. You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They won’t damage your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled container with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

During your treatment with this drug, your doctor will likely monitor several health issues. These may include your:

  • Blood sugar level: 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.

Availability

Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead to make sure your pharmacy carries it.

Prior authorization

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for brand-name Jardiance. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

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.