The 10 Jardiance Side Effects to Know About - GoodRx (2022)

Key takeaways:

  • Jardiance (empagliflozin) is a medication commonly used to treat Type 2 diabetes and some heart problems.

  • Common Jardiance side effects include urinary tract infections (UTIs) and fungal (“yeast”) infections of the genitals.

  • More serious Jardiance side effects include dehydration, low blood sugar, and serious infection. Ketoacidosis (too much acid in the blood) is also possible but rare.

The 10 Jardiance Side Effects to Know About - GoodRx (1)

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Jardiance (empagliflozin) is a commonly used medication for several health conditions. If you have heart failure or Type 2 diabetes, you may take Jardiance. But how safe is it? And what Jardiance side effects should you know about?

What is Jardiance?

Jardiance is a sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor. You may have also heard it called a “flozin” medication for short because of how its generic name ends. It’s a tablet taken by mouth once a day. It comes in 10 mg and 25 mg dosages.

Jardiance is FDA approved to:

  • Help lower blood sugar levels in adults with Type 2 diabetes when combined with a healthy diet and exercise

  • Lower the risk of death due to heart problems in adults with Type 2 diabetes and heart disease

  • Lower the risk of hospitalization and death from heart problems in adults with heart failure

How does Jardiance work for Type 2 diabetes?

Your kidneys filter blood and help get rid of waste and extra fluids. They also reabsorb certain substances, including sugar (glucose). Jardiance stops the body from reabsorbing glucose in the kidney back into the body. The extra glucose leaves your body through your urine. This helps lower your blood sugar levels.

10 Jardiance side effects you should know about

Jardiance side effects can range from mild to severe. Thankfully, serious side effects are rare.

Below is a list of 10 Jardiance side effects you should be aware of. Keep in mind, these aren’t the only possible side effects you could experience — just some of the most notable.

1. Urinary tract infections

Because Jardiance makes you urinate extra glucose, it may put you at risk for urinary tract infections (UTIs). Glucose is like food for bacteria that cause UTIs. Most of these infections are mild. But if left untreated, UTIs can lead to severe complications, such as kidney infections.

It’s important to note that in Jardiance’s clinical trials for Type 2 diabetes, this side effect was also seen in a similar number of people taking a placebo (a pill with no medicine in it). This is because people with diabetes have a higher risk of UTIs than people without diabetes. So, some experts question how much the medication actually raises the risk of UTIs.

2. Genital infections

Another common Jardiance side effect is fungal (“yeast”) infections on or around the genitals. Vaginal yeast infections tend to happen most often. But genital yeast infections in males can also happen around the penis and scrotum. Similar to with UTIs, the extra sugar being urinated can attract fungi and bacteria to the external genitals. Most of these infections are mild and easily treated.

Rarely, a life-threatening infection of the male and female genitals, called Fournier’s gangrene, can also occur. This infection causes fever and swollen or painful genital tissues. It can also cause skin in those areas to peel off. This could require surgery to remove and repair, along with antibiotics.

3. Urinating more often

Because Jardiance gets rid of extra glucose through the kidneys, you may urinate more. You may notice yourself going to the bathroom more often. Some people also report they wake up to urinate more than usual overnight.

Because Jardiance may make you urinate more often, it can lower your level of body fluids. You may become thirsty as a result.

4. Upper respiratory tract infections

People in Jardiance’s clinical trials also reported upper respiratory infections (URIs).

Symptoms of a URI include runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, or sore throat. Keep in mind that a similar number of people taking a placebo in studies also reported URIs.

5. High cholesterol

In some people, Jardiance can make their cholesterol go up — in particular, LDL (low-density lipoprotein, or “bad cholesterol”).

Clinical trials found that higher doses of Jardiance were linked to higher LDL levels. Your healthcare provider will monitor your cholesterol while taking Jardiance to make sure this isn't an issue for you.

6. Joint pain

Joint pain is a possible side effect of many medications. Joint pain with Jardiance is an uncommon side effect, but it’s still possible.

But if you notice joint pain after you start the medication, let your healthcare provider know. It’s important to note that similar numbers of people taking a placebo in Jardiance’s clinical trials also experienced joint pain.

7. Nausea

Nausea is a listed side effect for many medications and can interfere with your routine. While not common, nausea is a possible Jardiance side effect.

If you find Jardiance makes you nauseated, try taking your dose with food. Food won’t affect how Jardiance works and may help lessen nausea.

8. Low blood sugar

Jardiance should help lower your blood sugar if you have Type 2 diabetes. But, in some cases, it could lower your blood sugar too much (hypoglycemia).

Your risk of this is higher if you’re also taking other diabetes medications that affect your body’s insulin levels. Examples of these medications include insulin and sulfonylureas, such as glipizide.

9. Dehydration

As mentioned above, Jardiance can lower your amount of body fluids. This is typically mild, but in rare cases can lead to dehydration. This may then cause low blood pressure, which could make you feel faint or pass out.

Dehydration from Jardiance could also lead to kidney damage in rare cases. Your healthcare provider will monitor your kidney function while taking Jardiance to watch for signs of this serious side effect.

10. Ketoacidosis

Jardiance has been found to cause ketoacidosis (too much acid in the blood) in some cases. This is a serious condition that could be deadly.

This was mainly seen in people with Type 1 diabetes taking Jardiance — not Type 2 diabetes. Nonetheless, it could still happen. Ketoacidosis is a medical emergency.

Common symptoms of ketoacidosis include:

  • Thirst

  • Dry mouth

  • Tiredness

  • Vomiting

  • Stomach pain

  • Fruity-smelling breath

  • Trouble breathing

  • Confusion

What can I do to manage Jardiance side effects?

There are several things you can do to help manage mild Jardiance side effects:

  • Take your dose in the morning to help lower the need to urinate at night.

  • Stay hydrated to help prevent too much fluid loss. (If you have heart failure, double-check how much fluid you should be drinking with your healthcare provider first.)

  • Clean your genital area regularly to help prevent and monitor for infections in that area.

  • Take your dose with food if Jardiance causes nausea.

  • Keep up with all recommended blood tests from your healthcare provider. These help watch for more serious side effects.

When should I contact my healthcare provider about Jardiance side effects?

Some of the side effects mentioned can be quite severe, such as ketoacidosis, low blood sugar, and certain genital infections. Contact your healthcare provider or seek medical attention if you notice symptoms of these serious side effects.

You should also reach out to your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of a UTI or genital yeast infection. These infections typically require antibiotics or antifungal medications to treat them.

But even if your side effects aren’t serious, they could certainly be bothersome. If you’re experiencing anything excessive or worrisome, let your healthcare provider know. They can help you decide if Jardiance is the best option for you.

The bottom line

Jardiance is a safe and effective medication to help manage Type 2 diabetes or heart failure. But this medication can cause a number of side effects.

The most common Jardiance side effects include UTIs and genital yeast infections. Mild side effects can typically be managed at home or easily treated. Some side effects can be serious, however. So, let your healthcare provider know if you think you may be experiencing them.

References

Aggarwal, A., et al. (2019). High prevalence of genital mycotic infections with sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors among Indian patients with Type 2 diabetes. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. (2022). Jardiance [package insert].

View All References (3)

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National Organization for Rare Disorders. (2020). Fournier gangrene.

Sarafidis, P. A., et al. (2020). The risk for urinary tract infections with sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors: no longer a cause of concern? Clinical Kidney Journal.

Sizar, O., et al. (2022). Empagliflozin. Statpearls.

GoodRx Health has strict sourcing policies and relies on primary sources such as medical organizations, governmental agencies, academic institutions, and peer-reviewed scientific journals. Learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate, thorough, and unbiased by reading our editorial guidelines.

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