Medications such as Jardiance are vital in the management and treatment of chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes. However, it’s important to understand that, like any medication, Jardiance can cause side effects. Understanding these side effects and how to manage them is essential for maintaining health and well-being while using this medication.

What is Jardiance used for? 

Jardiance, with its generic name empagliflozin, belongs to a group of medications called SGLT2 inhibitors, which function by helping the kidneys remove glucose from the bloodstream through the urine. By doing so, Jardiance helps lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It is commonly prescribed to adults to help manage their blood sugar levels in combination with diet and exercise.

Common Side Effects of Jardiance 

While many people tolerate Jardiance well, some may experience side effects. Common side effects of Jardiance include:

  • Increased Urination (Polyuria): Jardiance increases the amount of glucose excreted through the urine, which can lead to increased urination. This may result in frequent trips to the bathroom.
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): Some people may experience UTIs while taking Jardiance. Symptoms include painful urination, increased frequency of urination, and abdominal pain.
  • Genital Yeast Infections: Jardiance may increase the susceptibility to yeast infections in the genital area, leading to symptoms such as itching, burning, and unusual discharge in women (vulvovaginal candidiasis) and inflammation and redness in men (balanitis).
  • Dehydration: Increased urination can lead to dehydration, especially if fluid intake is not adequate. Symptoms of dehydration include drowsiness, dry mouth, and dark-colored urine.
  • Hypotension (Low Blood Pressure): Jardiance has the potential to lower blood pressure, resulting in symptoms like weakness, fainting, and blurred vision.
  • Increased Risk of Ketoacidosis: In rare cases, Jardiance may increase the susceptibility to ketoacidosis, a serious medical condition characterized by high levels of ketones in the blood.

Serious Side Effects of Jardiance 

While less common, Jardiance may also cause serious side effects, including:

  • Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar): One of the worst side effects of Jardiance is hypoglycemia. This medicine may lower blood sugar levels too much, leading to symptoms such as sweating, confusion, and rapid heartbeat.
  • Kidney Problems: Some individuals may experience kidney problems, including changes in kidney function or acute kidney injury.
  • Fournier’s Gangrene: Although extremely rare, Jardiance has been associated with Fournier’s gangrene, a serious bacterial infection of the genital area.
  • Bone Fractures: Jardiance may increase the risk of bone fractures, especially in areas like the hip and spine.
  • Urinary Tract Blockages: In rare cases, Jardiance may lead to urinary tract blockages, requiring medical intervention.
  • Increased Cholesterol Levels: Jardiance may cause increases in LDL cholesterol levels, though the significance of this effect is still under investigation. 

How to Manage Side Effects 

While side effects can be bothersome, there are ways to manage them effectively:

Stay Hydrated

Make sure to drink plenty of water every day, aiming for at least 8 glasses. Avoid sugary and caffeinated beverages and opt for water instead. Keep a water bottle handy for easy access, especially when you’re on the move. Increase your water intake if you’re engaging and participating in physical activities or if the weather is hot. 

Monitor Blood Sugar

It’s necessary to regularly check your blood sugar levels using a glucometer as directed by your healthcare professional. Keep a record of your readings and any symptoms you experience. Be aware and knowledgeable of the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), such as sweating, trembling, and confusion, as well as high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) symptoms like increased thirst and frequent urination. Adjust your diet and medication regimen as needed based on your blood sugar levels and in consultation with your healthcare provider.

Manage Increased Urination

Plan your fluid intake throughout the day to minimize the inconvenience of increased urination. Know the locations of bathrooms when you’re out and about. Consider using absorbent pads or underwear liners to manage any leaks or accidents. Pelvic floor exercises, commonly known as Kegels, can strengthen the muscles that control urination, thereby improving bladder control.

Treat Infections Promptly

If you suspect a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a yeast infection, seek medical attention promptly. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for treatment, which may include antibiotics for UTIs or antifungal medications for yeast infections. Treating infections early can help prevent them from worsening and reduce discomfort.

Jardiance for diabetes is important for managing blood sugar levels, but it’s crucial to be aware of its potential side effects. By understanding these side effects and knowing how to manage them, individuals can take control of their health while on this medication. If you experience any concerning symptoms or have questions about side effects, don’t hesitate to speak with your healthcare provider.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are there foods to avoid while taking Jardiance? 

Yes, there are some foods to avoid while taking Jardiance. It’s recommended to limit your intake of high-carbohydrate foods, particularly those high in refined sugars, as they can potentially increase the risk of side effects such as hyperglycemia.

Does Jardiance cause weight loss? 

Yes. By encouraging the excretion of glucose through the urine, Jardiance can result in a modest reduction in body weight. Jardiance weight loss can be a positive side effect for those with type 2 diabetes struggling with weight management.

What happens if you take Jardiance at night? 

Taking Jardiance at night is generally safe and effective, but it may lead to increased nighttime urination. Some people find it more convenient to take it in the morning to avoid disruptions to sleep. 

Does Jardiance trigger heart failure? 

No, Jardiance does not trigger heart failure. In fact, Jardiance has been shown to minimize the susceptibility to heart failure and cardiovascular events in type 2 diabetes patients and established cardiovascular disease.