empagliflozin (Oral route)
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antidiabetic
Pharmacologic Class: Sodium Glucose Co-Transporter 2 Inhibitor
Uses For empagliflozin
Empagliflozin is used to treat type 2 diabetes. It works in the kidneys to prevent absorption of glucose (blood sugar). This helps lower the blood sugar level. Empagliflozin does not help patients who have insulin-dependent or type 1 diabetes.
empagliflozin is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using empagliflozin
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For empagliflozin, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to empagliflozin or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of empagliflozin in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of empagliflozin in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have kidney problems, which may require caution.
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking empagliflozin, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using empagliflozin with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Thioctic Acid
Using empagliflozin with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of empagliflozin. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Alcohol abuse, history of or
- Pancreatic insulin deficiency, history of—May increase risk for more serious side effects.
- Dehydration or
- Dyslipidemia (high fats or cholesterol in the blood) or
- Genital yeast (fungus) infections (eg, balanitis, balanoposthitis, vulvovaginitis), history of or
- Hypotension (low blood pressure) or
- Kidney disease or
- Urinary tract infection (eg, pyelonephritis, urosepsis), or history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (high ketones and acid in the blood) or
- Kidney disease, severe or
- Patients receiving dialysis or
- Type I diabetes—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
Proper Use of empagliflozin
Take empagliflozin only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. Do not change your dose unless directed by your doctor.
empagliflozin comes with a patient information leaflet. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Carefully follow the special meal plan your doctor gave you. This is the most important part of controlling your diabetes, and will help the medicine work properly. Exercise regularly and test for sugar in your blood or urine as directed.
You may take empagliflozin with or without food.
The dose of empagliflozin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of empagliflozin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (tablets):
- For type 2 diabetes:
- Adults—At first, 10 milligrams (mg) once a day, taken in the morning. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and tolerated.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For type 2 diabetes:
If you miss a dose of empagliflozin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions While Using empagliflozin
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits, especially during the first few weeks that you take empagliflozin. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur with empagliflozin. This is more common if you have kidney disease, low blood pressure, or if you are taking a diuretic (water pill). Taking plenty of fluids each day may help. Drink plenty of water during exercise or in hot weather. Check with your doctor if you have severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea that does not stop. This may cause you to lose too much water.
Ketoacidosis (high ketones and acid in the blood) may occur while you are using empagliflozin. This can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Your doctor may give you insulin, fluid, and carbohydrate replacement to treat this condition. Tell your doctor right away if you have nausea, vomiting, trouble breathing, increased thirst or urination.
empagliflozin may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This is more common when empagliflozin is taken together with other diabetes medicines (eg, insulin, glipizide, or glyburide). The symptoms of low blood sugar must be treated before they cause you to pass out. People feel different symptoms with low blood sugar. It is important that you learn which symptoms you usually have so you can treat it quickly. Some symptoms of low blood sugar include behavior changes that are similar to being drunk, blurred vision, cold sweats, confusion, cool, pale skin, difficulty with thinking, drowsiness, excessive hunger, a fast heartbeat, headaches that continue, nausea, shakiness, slurred speech, or unusual tiredness or weakness. Talk to your doctor about how to treat low blood sugar.
empagliflozin may cause vaginal yeast infections in women and yeast infections of the penis in men. This is more common in patients who have a history of genital yeast infections or in men who are not circumcised. Women may have a vaginal discharge, itching, or odor. Men may have redness, itching, swelling, or pain around the penis, or a discharge with a strong odor from the penis. Check with your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms.
empagliflozin may increase risk of having urinary tract infections. Check with your doctor right away if you have bladder pain, bloody or cloudy urine, difficult, burning, or painful urination, or lower back or side pain.
Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using empagliflozin. empagliflozin may affect the results of certain medical tests (eg, urine glucose tests may not be accurate).
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
empagliflozin Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:More common
- Bladder pain
- bloody or cloudy urine
- change in the color, amount, or odor of vaginal discharge
- difficult, burning, or painful urination
- frequent urge to urinate
- itching, stinging, or redness of the vaginal area
- lower back or side pain
- pain during sexual intercourse
- Discharge with a strong odor from the penis
- increased volume of pale, dilute urine
- redness, itching, swelling, or pain around the penis
- waking to urinate at night
- blurred vision
- cold sweats
- decreased urination
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- fast heartbeat
- increased hunger
- rapid breathing
- slurred speech
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Dry mouth
- flushed, dry skin
- frequent or painful urination
- fruit-like breath odor
- increased thirst
- loss of appetite
- loss of consciousness
- stomach pain
- swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs
- troubled breathing
- unexplained weight loss
- weight gain
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:Less common
- Body aches or pain
- loss of voice
- muscle pain or stiffness
- nasal congestion
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
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