What is Jardiance (Empagliflozin)?

Jardiance is an oral diabetes drug that is used to control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes (T2D). It is a brand name of empagliflozin. T2D is a common condition that happens when the body cannot produce enough insulin or use it properly. Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone which helps glucose get into the cells of the body to be used for energy. Without insulin, glucose cannot enter the body’s cells, which leads to a build up in the bloodstream. If left untreated, too much glucose in the blood can lead to serious health complications, such as blindness, kidney and nerve damage. People with T2D  can take Jardiance to help them lower high blood sugar levels. When you take this medication, it works by inhibiting glucose reabsorption by the kidneys, which increases excretion of glucose via urine. This will in turn lower high blood sugar levels in people with T2D.

How Does the Drug Work?

The medication is available with a doctor’s prescription and it’s in the form of a tablet. The tablets can be used alone or in combination therapy to regulate blood sugar levels. Jardiance contains empagliflozin as the active substance. It’s a type of drug known as the SGLT2 inhibitor. The wanted effects of the drug occur in the kidneys, where it causes the body to excrete too much sugar from the bloodstream into the urine.

Naturally, without the drug, the kidneys filter and clean the blood; sugar is filtered out as well. Then, through a mechanism known as sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) glucose is absorbed back into the bloodstream. Even if the levels of blood glucose are high, the sugars are still reabsorbed. When the drug is given to patients with type II diabetes, the drug works by removing sugar from the blood and moves it into the urine, so it’s not reabsorbed, eventually, blood sugar levels are reduced. Nevertheless, patient on the drug may be faced with Jardiance side effects.

Also, Jardiance is used to reduce the risk of death due to heart attack, stroke, or heart failure in individuals with type II diabetes and have heart disease.

Uses of Jardiance During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

Jardiance is in pregnancy category C according to the FDA, this means that animal studies have indicated adverse effect, though no conclusion has been made. There aren’t sufficient studies carried out in pregnant women, so its use in pregnancy is highly discouraged. For breastfeeding women, it’s not known if it passes through breast milk. Thus, the decision to use the drug should be done after the potential benefits are weighed against expected Jardiance side effects.

Empagliflozin Shouldn’t be Used by the Following Individuals:

  1. Those with type I diabetes
  2. Those with diabetic ketoacidosis
  3. Those with seriously decreased kidney function
  4. Those with severe liver function
  5. Those allergic to ingredient of the drug
  6. Children below 18 years
  7. Those with low fluid volume as a result of diarrhea or vomiting

Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.