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How long does it take for Jardiance to work?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD Last updated on May 20, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Key Points

  • The beneficial effect on your blood sugar levels may begin quickly, within the first 1 to 2 weeks. However, Jardiance is a drug used long-term. It can take up to 24 weeks for the full therapeutic results with Jardiance (empagliflozin) treatment, based on clinical studies. Your results may be different from other patients, so check with your doctor about your progress in maintaining control of your type 2 diabetes if you have a concern.
  • Jardiance is used in addition to diet and exercise to control blood glucose (sugar) in adults with type 2 diabetes and to lower the risk of cardiovascular (heart-related) death in patients with heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It is given as an oral tablet taken once daily in the morning with or without food.
  • Jardiance may be added to other medicines for type 2 diabetes such as metformin, sulfonylureas, pioglitazone, and insulin. However, the risk for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) may increase.

How long does it take for Jardiance to lower blood sugar?

In 24-week long studies with Jardiance, the 10 mg or 25 mg daily dose provided statistically significant reductions in A1C, fasting plasma glucose (FPG), and body weight when compared to an inactive placebo.

Results showed that 35% of patients taking the 10 mg dose lowered their A1C to less than 7%, with 44% of patients in the 25 mg group and 12% in the placebo group seeing similar results .

Fasting blood glucose was also lowered in both the 10 mg and 25 mg groups. At the beginning of the study, patients had an average fasting blood sugar of 153 mg/dL. Those taking Jardiance 10 mg and 25 mg saw their fasting blood sugar drop 19 and 25 points (mg/dL), respectively, while the placebo group 12 points.

Top 7 benefits of Jardiance

Besides being an effective choice to lower your blood sugar, Jardiance has many other benefits for patients living with type 2 diabetes.

1. Does Jardiance protect my heart?

Patients with type 2 diabetes are at a greater risk for heart disease, even if their blood sugar (A1C) is under control. Jardiance has been proven to have a protective effect on the heart in large cardiovascular outcome trials.

  • In a 3-year clinical study with over 7,000 patients, Jardiance was shown to reduce major cardiovascular events such as stroke or heart attack, as well as reduce death due to a cardiovascular event in patients with a diagnosis of heart disease.
  • These patients were already taking common medication used for type 2 diabetes like statins, beta blockers and ACE inhibitors.

2. Is Jardiance recommended in guidelines?

Metformin is usually the preferred first-line agent used when a patient needs to start an oral medication for type 2 diabetes. However, when added therapy is needed, certain SGLT-2 inhibitors, including Jardiance, are recommended.

  • In the 2020 American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines, Jardiance is one of the drugs recommended as a first-line agent in patients with established atherosclerotic heart disease, such as coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, or peripheral artery disease.
  • The ADA also recommends empagliflozin (Jardiance) use to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death in adults with type 2 diabetes and established CV disease, when added to metformin.
  • Certain SGLT-2 inhibitors, including Jardiance, are also recommended for use in heart failure patients with adequate kidney function as well as for patients where weight gain is a concern.
  • Jardiance has also been shown to have beneficial effects on progression of diabetic kidney disease in patients with established disease. Dosing adjustments may be needed in patients with renal (kidney) disease ( eGFR < 45 mL/min/1.73 m2).

3. Does Jardiance lead to weight loss?

Jardiance is not approved for weight loss, but it can help patients with type 2 diabetes lose weight. In 24-week studies, weight loss was found to be statistically significant in patients with type 2 diabetes.

In patients taking the 10 and 25 mg dose, a weight loss of 2.8% and 3.2% of their baseline weight (weight at the start of the study) was seen, compared to a 0.4% weight loss in the placebo group.

4. Can Jardiance lower my blood pressure?

Jardiance is not specifically approved by the FDA to lower blood pressure, but this effect was seen in clinical trials. Blood pressure was lowered whether Jardiance was used alone or with metformin.

  • At Week 24 in studies, the systolic blood pressure (the top number) was statistically significantly reduced compared to placebo by -2.6 mmHg in patients taking the 10 mg dose of Jardiance.
  • In patients taking the 25 mg dose of Jardiance, systolic blood pressure was reduced by -3.4 mmHg.

5. Does Jardiance cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) as a side effect?

When used alone, SGLT-2 inhibitors like Jardiance carry a low risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels). However, your doctor may need to adjust your dose of Jardiance if you take it with other drugs that can cause low blood sugar, like insulin or a sulfonylureas such as glipizide or glimepiride.

6. Can Jardiance be used with other diabetes medications?

Jardiance has been studied and can be added to other medicines for type 2 diabetes such as:

  • metformin
  • sulfonylureas such as glimepiride
  • pioglitazone
  • linagliptin
  • insulin
  • other heart medications like statins, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, and diuretics. 

Addition to these medications to Jardiance may increase your risk for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and dose adjustments of medication may be needed.

If your A1C target is not achieved after roughly 3 months with initial use of metformin, other preferred treatment option can be combined with metformin, including sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, DPP-4 inhibitors, SGLT2 inhibitors, GLP-1 RA, or basal insulin. You and your doctor will make the best choice based on factors such as safety, drug interactions, side effects and cost or availability.

In a large comparative study, researchers found that each new class of noninsulin agents added to initial therapy with metformin generally lowers the A1C number by about 0.7–1.0%.

7. Is Jardiance well-tolerated by patients?

Yes, in clinical studies, few patients stopped treatment due to the most common side effects: genital yeast infections and urinary tract infections.

  • Discontinuation from the studies due to genital infection occurred in 0.2% of patients (2 out of 1000) treated with Jardiance 10 mg or 25 mg compared to 0% patients taking an inactive placebo.
  • Discontinuation due to urinary tract infections (UTIs) occurred in 0.2% and 0.1% of patients receiving the 10 mg and 25 mg doses of Jardiance, respectively. About 0.1% of patients taking an inactive placebo stopped treatment because of UTIs equal to the 25 mg dose of Jardiance.

Important side effects with Jardiance

Jardiance is usually well-tolerated in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, as with all drugs, there are important side effects and you should review and discuss with your doctor.

Serious side effects reported with Jardiance include:

  • ketoacidosis (increased ketones in your blood or urine)
  • sudden kidney injury
  • urinary tract infections
  • dehydration (the loss of body water and salt)
  • low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • necrotizing fasciitis (a rare but serious tissue infection under the skin that can happen around the anus and genitals)
  • allergic reactions
  • increased cholesterol.

The most common side effects (5% or greater) that may occur with Jardiance are:

  • urinary tract infections
  • yeast infections

Bottom Line

  • In studies, most patients saw an effect with Jardiance in about 24 weeks. Results will differ between patients and you should ask your doctor’s advice on how quickly you may meet your treatment goals for type 2 diabetes.
  • Jardiance can be added to many other types of type 2 diabetes medications, including metformin, to help you to meet your goals. You and your doctor can determine your best option based on factors specific for you such as your blood sugar goals, other medical conditions, side effects and cost.
  • Overall, Jardiance is a well-tolerated, once-daily oral treatment option for type 2 diabetes that can provide benefits for your blood sugar, heart, kidneys, weight goals, and risks for low blood sugar. However, side effects can occur, so be sure to discuss all possible side effects with your doctor.

This is not all the information you need to know about Jardiance for safe and effective use. Review the full Jardiance information here, and speak to your health care provider if you have questions or concerns.

References
  • Pharmacologic Approaches to Glycemic Treatment: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes 2020. American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care 2020 Jan; 43(Supplement 1): S98-S110. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc20-S009. Accessed May 20, 2020.
  • Zinman B, Wanner C, Lachin JM, et al. Empagliflozin, Cardiovascular Outcomes, and Mortality in Type 2 Diabetes. N Engl J Med. 2015;373(22):2117‐2128. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1504720. Accessed May 20, 2020.
  • Jardiance [package insert].  Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Ridgefield, CT Accessed May 18, 2020 at https://docs.boehringer-ingelheim.com/Prescribing%20Information/PIs/Jardiance/jardiance.pdf. Accessed May 20, 2020.
  • Jardiance [Medication Guide]. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Ridgefield, CT Accessed May 18, 2020 at  https://docs.boehringer-ingelheim.com/Prescribing%20Information/PIs/Jardiance/Patient%20Info/Jardiance%20Medication%20Guide
  • Tsai A. How long does it take for diabetes medication to work? Diabetes Forecast. Accessed May 20, 2020 at http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2016/jan-feb/how-long-does-it-take-for.html

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