Jardiance (empagliflozin) is a prescription medication used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. It belongs to a class of drugs known as sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. Jardiance works by helping the kidneys remove glucose from the bloodstream through the urine, thereby lowering blood sugar levels.

How Does Jardiance Work?

Jardiance works by inhibiting the SGLT2 protein in the kidneys, which is responsible for reabsorbing glucose back into the bloodstream. By blocking this protein, Jardiance helps to increase the amount of glucose excreted in the urine, thereby reducing blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Precautions and Warnings With Jardiance

Contraindications

  • Severe Kidney Impairment: Individuals with severe kidney impairment or those on dialysis should not take Jardiance.
  • Hypersensitivity Reactions: People with a history of serious hypersensitivity reactions to Jardiance or any of its components should avoid its use.

Precautions

  • Urinary Tract Infections: Patients with a history of urinary tract infections or those at risk for urinary tract infections should use caution when taking Jardiance.
  • Hypotension: Jardiance may lead to low blood pressure, particularly in individuals taking diuretics or with a history of hypotension.
  • Hydration Status: Patients are encouraged to drink plenty of fluids while taking Jardiance to prevent dehydration, especially during periods of increased fluid loss (e.g., due to diarrhea, vomiting, or excessive sweating).
  • Surgery and Medical Procedures: Inform healthcare providers about all medications you are taking, including Jardiance, before undergoing surgery or medical procedures.

Warnings

  • Kidney Function: Jardiance may cause changes in kidney function and may lead to serious kidney problems, including kidney failure.
  • Genital Yeast Infections: Jardiance may increase the risk of genital yeast infections, especially in women.
  • Dehydration: Jardiance can lead to dehydration, especially in elderly patients or those taking diuretics (water pills).
  • Hypoglycemia: Jardiance may increase the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) when used in combination with insulin or insulin secretagogues.

Jardiance Side Effects

While Jardiance is generally well-tolerated, like any medication, it may cause side effects in some individuals. Side effects associated with Jardiance may include:

Mild Side Effects

  • Nausea
  • Vaginal or penile yeast infection
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Urinating more often than usual or making more urine than usual

Serious Side Effects

  • Kidney damage
  • Dehydration (low fluid level), which may cause dizziness or weakness
  • Ketoacidosis (a buildup of acid in your body)
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fournier’s gangrene
  • Serious UTI
  • Allergic reaction

Drug Interactions With Jardiance 

Jardiance may interact with other medications, supplements, or substances, potentially affecting its effectiveness or increasing the risk of adverse effects. Some notable drug interactions with Jardiance include:

Drug ClassExamples
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) InhibitorsBenazepril (Lotensin, in Lotrel), Captopril, Enalapril (Epaned, Vasotec, in Vaseretic), Fosinopril, Lisinopril (Prinivil, Qbrelis, Zestril, in Zestoretic), Moexipril, Perindopril (in Prestalia), Quinapril (Accupril, in Accuretic, in Quinaretic), Ramipril (Altace), Trandolapril
Angiotensin Receptor BlockersAzilsartan (Edarbi, and Edarbyclor), Candesartan (Atacand and Atacand HCT), Eprosartan (Teveten), Irbesartan (Avapro and Avalide), Losartan (Cozaar and Hyzaar), Olmesartan (Benicar, Azor, , Benicar HCT and Tribenzor), Telmisartan (Micardis, Micardis HCT and Twynsta), Valsartan (Diovan, Diovan HCT and Exforge)
Aspirin and Other NSAIDsIbuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
Heart Failure MedicationDigoxin
Diuretics (Water Pills)Furosemide (Lasix), Hydrochlorothiazide
Insulin or Oral Medications for DiabetesGlimepiride (Amaryl and Duetact), Glipizide (Glucotrol), Glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase), Tolbutamide

Strengths and Dosages of Jardiance 

Available Strengths

Jardiance is available in tablet form in various strengths, including 10 mg and 25 mg.

Recommended Dosages

The recommended starting dose of Jardiance for most patients is 10 mg once daily, taken orally in the morning with or without food. For patients tolerating Jardiance 10 mg who require additional glycemic control, the dosage may be increased to 25 mg once daily.

Cost of Jardiance in America

At this time of writing, the cost for Jardiance oral tablet 25 mg to be approximately $653 for a supply of 30 tablets.

Patients are encouraged to check with their local pharmacies, insurance providers, or explore patient assistance programs to determine the most cost-effective option for obtaining Jardiance.

Why is Jardiance so Expensive?

  • Research and Development Costs: The development of medications like Jardiance involves extensive research, including preclinical studies, clinical trials, and regulatory approvals. Pharmaceutical companies must recoup these costs, which contributes to the pricing of the medication.
  • Innovation and Patent Protection: Jardiance is a product of innovative research aimed at addressing unmet medical needs. As pharmaceutical companies continue to invest in developing new treatments and technologies, they rely on patent protection to safeguard their investments. During the period of patent exclusivity, companies have the sole right to manufacture and sell the medication, allowing them to set prices without competition from generic alternatives.
  • Manufacturing Expenses: The production of medications like Jardiance involves sophisticated manufacturing processes and quality control measures to ensure consistency, purity, and potency. These processes require specialized facilities, equipment, and trained personnel, all of which contribute to the overall cost of production.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Pharmaceutical companies must adhere to strict regulatory standards set by government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Compliance with these standards involves additional costs related to testing, documentation, and regulatory submissions to ensure the safety, efficacy, and quality of the medication.
  • Marketing and Distribution: Pharmaceutical companies invest in marketing and distribution efforts to promote awareness of their medications among healthcare providers and patients. These expenses include advertising, sales representatives, educational materials, and distribution networks, all of which contribute to the overall cost of bringing the medication to market.
  • Limited Competition: Brand-name medications like Jardiance may face limited competition from generic alternatives, particularly during the period of patent exclusivity. The absence of generic competition allows pharmaceutical companies to maintain higher prices for their brand-name medications until patents expire and generic versions become available.

Jardiance Alternatives

While Jardiance is a commonly prescribed medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, there are several alternative medications available that healthcare providers may consider based on individual patient factors and treatment goals:

  • Metformin: Metformin is a commonly prescribed medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. It works by decreasing glucose production in the liver and improving insulin sensitivity in the body.
  • SGLT2 Inhibitors: Similar to Jardiance, other SGLT2 inhibitors such as dapagliflozin (Farxiga) and canagliflozin (Invokana) are available as alternative treatment options for type 2 diabetes. They work by inhibiting glucose reabsorption in the kidneys, leading to increased glucose excretion in the urine.
  • GLP-1 Receptor Agonists: GLP-1 receptor agonists like liraglutide (Victoza) and dulaglutide (Trulicity) are injectable medications that stimulate insulin secretion and decrease glucagon production, leading to improved blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes.
  • DPP-4 Inhibitors: DPP-4 inhibitors such as sitagliptin (Januvia) and saxagliptin (Onglyza) are oral medications that work by inhibiting the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4), which regulates blood sugar levels by breaking down incretin hormones.
  • Insulin Therapy: Insulin therapy is a cornerstone of treatment for type 2 diabetes in patients who require additional glycemic control despite oral medications. Various forms of insulin, including rapid-acting, short-acting, intermediate-acting, and long-acting formulations, are available to meet individual patient needs.

Questions About Jardiance

What is Jardiance used for?

Jardiance (empagliflozin) is prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults. It helps to lower blood sugar levels by increasing the excretion of glucose through the kidneys.

What happens if you take Jardiance at night?

It is generally recommended to take Jardiance in the morning, with or without food. Taking it at night may increase the risk of nocturia (increased urination during the night) due to its diuretic effect.

How does Jardiance work?

Jardiance works by inhibiting the sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) protein in the kidneys. This action reduces the reabsorption of glucose back into the bloodstream, leading to increased glucose excretion in the urine and lower blood sugar levels.

Who makes Jardiance?

Jardiance is manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company.

What are the dangers of taking Jardiance?

While Jardiance is generally well-tolerated, it may increase the risk of certain adverse effects, including dehydration, urinary tract infections, genital yeast infections, hypotension, ketoacidosis, and acute kidney injury.

How to avoid yeast infections on Jardiance?

To reduce the risk of genital yeast infections while taking Jardiance, it is important to maintain good personal hygiene practices, including regular washing and drying of the genital area.

How long does Jardiance stay in your system?

The half-life of Jardiance is approximately 13 hours. This means it takes about 13 hours for half of the medication to be eliminated from the body. However, individual factors such as kidney function and metabolism may affect how long Jardiance stays in your system.

When is the best time to take Jardiance?

The recommended time to take Jardiance is typically in the morning, with or without food. This helps to minimize the risk of nocturia (increased urination during the night) and ensures consistent dosing throughout the day.

When will Jardiance be generic?

The patent for Jardiance is expected to expire in 2025. After patent expiration, generic versions of the medication may become available, potentially leading to lower-cost alternatives.

How does Jardiance work for heart failure?

Jardiance has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization for heart failure and cardiovascular death in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, regardless of whether they have diabetes. Its mechanism of action in heart failure is thought to involve improvements in cardiac function, renal function, and vascular function.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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