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Empagliflozin / linagliptin Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to empagliflozin / linagliptin: oral tablet, tablet oral

Along with its needed effects, empagliflozin / linagliptin 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 while taking empagliflozin / linagliptin:

More common
  • Bladder pain
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • lower back or side pain
Incidence not known
  • Anxiety
  • bloating
  • blurred vision
  • chills
  • cold sweats
  • confusion
  • constipation
  • cool, pale skin
  • darkened urine
  • depression
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • fast heartbeat
  • fever
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • headache
  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • indigestion
  • large, hard skin blisters
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of consciousness
  • nausea
  • nightmares
  • pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, radiating to the back
  • seizures
  • severe joint pain
  • shakiness
  • slurred speech
  • stomach pain
  • sweating
  • troubled breathing
  • unexplained weight loss
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects of empagliflozin / linagliptin 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:

More common
  • Body aches or pain
  • difficulty with breathing
  • ear congestion
  • headache
  • loss of voice
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
Incidence not known
  • Discharge with a strong odor from the penis
  • redness, itching, swelling, or pain around the penis
  • vaginal discharge, itching, or odor

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to empagliflozin / linagliptin: oral tablet


The most commonly occurring adverse events have included urinary tract infections, nasopharyngitis, and upper respiratory tract infections.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nausea

Common (1% to 10%): Diarrhea
Frequency not reported: Pancreatitis
Postmarketing reports: Acute pancreatitis, mouth ulceration[Ref]

Pancreatitis was reported in 15.2 cases per 10,000 patient year exposure in patients receiving linagliptin compared to 3.7 cases per 10,000 patient year exposure in those receiving active comparator (placebo or sulfonylurea), during clinical trials. Following completing of clinical trials, 3 additional cases of pancreatitis were reported in those receiving linagliptin. Postmarketing reports of acute pancreatitis, including fatalities, have been reported.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Pruritus
Postmarketing reports: Rash

Postmarketing reports: Rash, bullous pemphigoid[Ref]

Postmarketing reports of bullous pemphigoid requiring hospitalization have been reported with DPP-4 inhibitors. Discontinuation of therapy and treatment with topical or systemic immunosuppressive agents led to resolution in reported cases.[Ref]


When this combination product was added to metformin therapy, the overall incidence of hypoglycemia was 2.2% and 3.6% in patients receiving empagliflozin 10 mg-linagliptin 5 mg and empagliflozin 25 mg-linagliptin 5 mg, respectively. There were no reports of serious hypoglycemia.

Twenty reports of acidosis have been identified in the US Food and Drug Administration Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) database during the period March 2013 through 06 June 2014. All patients required emergency room treatment or hospitalization. These cases were not typical of ketoacidosis or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in that they occurred in patients with type 2 diabetes and their blood sugar levels were only slightly increased. Some factors identified as potentially triggering the acidosis included major illness, reduced food and fluid intake, and reduced insulin dose.[Ref]

Common (1% to 10%): Hypoglycemia, increased cholesterol, thirst

Common (1% to 10%): Increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, dyslipidemia
Rare (Less than 0.1%): Ketoacidosis
Postmarketing reports: Acidosis including diabetic ketoacidosis, ketoacidosis, or ketosis

Common (1% to 10%): Increased uric acid[Ref]


Very Common (10% or more): Urinary tract infection (up to 12.5%)
Postmarketing reports: Urosepsis, pyelonephritis

Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection, female genital mycotic infections, vaginal moniliasis, vulvovaginitis, balanitis, increased urination, male genital mycotic infections
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dysuria[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypersensitivity

Frequency not reported: Hypersensitivity reactions including urticaria, angioedema, localized skin exfoliation, or bronchial hyper-reactivity
Postmarketing reports: Serious hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis, angioedema[Ref]

Postmarketing, serious hypersensitivity reactions including angioedema, anaphylaxis, and exfoliative skin conditions have been reported in patients treated with linagliptin. These reactions have occurred within the first 3 months and some have occurred after the first dose.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Increased serum creatinine, decreased eGFR
Postmarketing reports: Acute kidney injury (AKI)[Ref]

Postmarketing reports of AKI, some requiring hospitalization and dialysis, have been received for patients treated with SGLT2 inhibitors including empagliflozin. Some reports involved patients younger than 65 years old.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory infection

Common (1% to 10%): Upper respiratory infection

Common (1% to 10%): Nasopharyngitis, cough[Ref]


Between October 2006 and December 2013, thirty-three cases of severe arthralgia have been reported to the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System Database. Each case involved the use of 1 or more dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor. In all cases, substantial reduction in prior activity level was reported, 10 patients were hospitalized due to disabling joint pain. In 22 cases, symptoms appeared within 1 month of starting therapy, in 23 cases symptoms resolved less than 1 month after discontinuation. A positive rechallenge was reported in 8 cases, with 6 cases involving use of a different DPP-4 inhibitor. Sitagliptin had the greatest number of cases reported (n=28) followed by saxagliptin (n=5), linagliptin (n=2), alogliptin (n=1), and vildagliptin (n=2).[Ref]

Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors:
-Common (1% to 10%): Arthralgia
-Postmarketing cases: Severe and disabling arthralgia[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Volume depletion


Frequency not reported: Increased hematocrit

Common (1% to 10%): Increased hematocrit[Ref]


1. EMA. European Medicines Agency. European Union "European Medicines Agency. Available from: URL:" ([2013 - ]):

2. "Product Information. Glyxambi (empagliflozin-linagliptin)." Boehringer Ingelheim, Ridgefield, CT.

3. FDA. U.S. Food and Drug Administration "FDA: SGLT2 inhibitors: Drug Safety Communication - FDA Warns Medicines May Result in a Serious Condition of Too Much Acid in the Blood Available from: URL:" (2015 May 15):

4. US Food and Drug Administration "FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA warns that DPP-4 inhibitors for type 2 diabetes may cause severe joint pain. Available from: URL:" ([2015, Aug 28]):

Some side effects of empagliflozin / linagliptin may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.