Empagliflozin (Oral)

Overview

Type 2 diabetes can cause or worsen other conditions, such as blood vessel disease and other heart ailments, Many patients that suffer from type 2 diabetes find relief when taking empagliflozin. This drug, available from your doctor via prescription, works to prevent the absorption of blood sugar, or glucose, from being absorbed into the kidneys, which in turn helps to keep the patient's blood sugar levels at a manageable level. Of note, this drug is not effective in patients that suffer from type 1 diabetes or are insulin dependent.

This drug has been reported to cause ketoacidosis is some patients and many patients will require regular testing to monitor the level of ketones in the bloodstream. As this condition can be life-threatening, it is important that patients understand the signs and symptoms that this condition causes, and seek immediate medical care if they occur.

Empagliflozin can cause severe dehydration and patients should be aware of the need to maintain proper hydration levels when taking this medication. If you experience any dehydrating conditions such as prolonged vomiting or diarrhea, contact your doctor to learn more about how to prevent serious dehydration.

Notify your doctor right away if you experience any difficulty with urination or other signs of problems with your kidneys as these will need to be addressed and treated immediately.

Patients that suffer from blood vessel disorders or have other heart issues, will need to take extra care while taking empagliflozin and notify their physician of any worrisome side effects such as an elevated heartbeat or dizziness.

Prior to starting empagliflozin, it is important that you provide your doctor with your comprehensive medical history as well as information on all of the medications that you are currently taking and how you take them. Inform them of any allergies that you have and any lifestyle habits such as the use of alcohol or tobacco.

Be sure to alert your doctor of any changes to your overall health and wellness while you are taking this medication.

Condition(s) Treated

  • Type 2 Diabetes

Type Of Medicine

  • Antidiabetic
    Sodium-Glucose Co-Transporter 2 Inhibitor

Side Effects

Empagliflozin can cause unwanted side effects, a number of which will require additional medical attention. If you experience any of the following symptoms it is important to contact your doctor as soon as possible for direction on what to do next.

More Likely:

-Bladder pain
-Bloody or cloudy urine
-Lower back or side pain
-Difficult, burning, or painful urination
-Vaginal discharge that contains an unpleasant odor
-Redness in the female genital area that can also include stinging and itching
-Frequent urge to urinate
-Change in the color, amount
-Pain during sexual intercourse

Less Likely:

-Discharge with a strong odor from the penis
-Waking to urinate at night
-Swelling, itching, redness, or a painful sensation near the penis area
-An increased volume of pale, dilute urine

Unlikely Occurrence:

-Anxiety
-Slurred speech
-Chills
-Seizures
-Confusion
-Unusual tiredness or weakness
-Fast heartbeat
-Headaches
-Increased hunger
-Nausea
-Nightmares
-Rapid breathing
-Decreased urination
-Shakiness
-Cold sweats
-Sweating
-Blurred vision

Unknown Incidence:

-Dry mouth
-Unexplained weight loss
-Flushed, dry skin
-Swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs
-Fruit-like breath odor
-Loss of consciousness
-Stomach pain
-Increased thirst
-Troubled breathing
-Frequent or painful urination
-Vomiting
-Fever
-Loss of appetite
-Weight gain

With many prescription drugs, there is the possibility that unwanted side effects will occur, especially as the body's system adjusts to the new medication. The side effects listed below will likely dissipate on their own without further medical attention. If any of these symptoms linger or begin to worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Less Likely:

-Muscle pain or stiffness
-Loss of voice
-Body aches or pain
-Nasal congestion
-Coughing

While this list is comprehensive and aims to be complete, there is a possibility that you will experience side effects that are not listed here. If you are concerned with any reactions that you experience while taking empagliflozin, it is always best practice to consult with your doctor or pharmacist for further guidance.

Dosage

The dosage prescribed to by your physician may differ from these guidelines, and you should always follow the instructions provided by your doctor. If you are experiencing difficulty with this medication, confer with your doctor about your concerns as they may be able to adjust your dosage to a more tolerable level. Do not stop taking empagliflozin without first consulting with the prescribing physician. Be sure to complete the entire course of treatment with this drug.

Due to the implications of being a type 2 diabetes patient, your doctor will likely recommend that you adopt a medically advised eating plan. Changes to the diet and how one receives their nutrition has been proven to help patients manage their diabetes more effectively. Increased exercise and activity is also highly recommended. Be sure to advise your doctor if you are already on a low sodium diet or have made any other similar changes to your diet. It is acceptable to take empagliflozin either with or without food, depending on the preferences of the patient.

Be sure to regularly test your urine and blood in order to monitor the level of blood sugar contained therein.

Empagliflozin is available in tablet form, via prescription, and is taken for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The following are the typical dosage amounts, however, if your doctor has given you different dosage guidelines, it is imperative that you follow those.

These dosage guidelines apply to use in adults as children of any age who are prescribed empagliflozin should follow the direction provided by their pediatrician or physician.

The initial dose is 10 milligrams taken one time per day, and always taken in the morning. Your doctor will likely adjust your dosage as they learn more about your tolerance of the drug, with the typical maximum dose of 25 milligrams in one day.

Patients that suffer from heart disease as well as type 2 diabetes will begin at the same dosage level and may have their doctor adjust their dosage in order to minimize the risk of death caused by heart and blood vessel issues.

If you miss a scheduled dose, it is important that you take it upon remembering. However, if it is close to the time of your next scheduled dose, you will need to skip it as empagliflozin should never be taken in a double dose. If you have missed a scheduled dosage and are unsure what to do, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Major Drug Interactions

There are certain drugs that are contraindicated for use and if at all possible, both drugs should not be taken concurrently. If your doctor determines that empagliflozin is the best possible treatment for your type 2 diabetes, they may make adjustments to how you take the drug or how you are directed to take other medications. If you are prescribed empagliflozin and are taking one of the drugs listed below, be sure to keep your physician informed of how your system reacts to both medications in case any changes need to be made.

-Thioctic Acid
-Pasireotide
-Lanreotide
-Octreotide

There are a number of drugs that can increase your likelihood of unwanted side effects when you are also taking empagliflozin. Be aware of these symptoms and discuss any experiences that you have that cause you concern or bother with your doctor. It is likely that any side effects that do occur from taking these drugs concurrently with empagliflozin will dissipate on their own after a few days.

-Acebutolol
-Propranolol
-Betaxolol
-Pindolol
-Carteolol
-Oxprenolol
-Celiprolol
-Nadolol
-Labetalol
-Metoprolol
-Metipranolol
-Timolol
-Levobunolol
-Nebivolol
-Esmolol
-Penbutolol
-Carvedilol
-Practolol
-Bisoprolol
-Sotalol
-Atenolol

It is important that you inform your doctor of all of the medications, both prescription and non-prescription, that you are taking prior to beginning your course of treatment with empagliflozin. Your physician should also be aware of the herbal remedies, vitamin and mineral supplements that you use.

Your doctor will likely conduct further testing or require heightened reporting if you are taking empagliflozin and also suffer from these other medical conditions. Inform your doctor right away if you also suffer from one of these conditions and begin to experience unwanted side effects as it may be a sign of a more serious problem.

-Alcohol abuse
-Kidney disease
-Hypovolemia (low blood volume)
-Urinary tract infection (eg, pyelonephritis, urosepsis)
-Dehydration
-Hypotension (low blood pressure)
-Kidney disease
-Dyslipidemia (the occurrence of cholesterol or high fats in the bloodstream)
-Diabetic ketoacidosis (high ketones and acid in the blood)
-Pancreatic insulin deficiency
-Patients receiving dialysis
-Congestive heart failure
-Yeast infection in the genital area
-Type 1 diabetes

Your lifestyle habits, such as the use of tobacco and alcohol, as well as your diet and exercise habits may affect the way that empagliflozin interacts with your body. It is important that you inform your doctor of any changes to your diet or lifestyle and overall health.

Warnings

Your doctor will likely order regular testing to ensure that empagliflozin is working effectively and that your system is not experiencing any unwanted side effects. Be sure to keep all appointments when you are taking this prescription.

There is the chance that you may experience fainting while taking this drug, especially if you also suffer from low blood pressure, have kidney disease, or are taking a water pill. To decrease the chance of fainting, dizziness, or experiencing the sensation of lightheadedness, be sure to drink a lot of fluids every day to avoid dehydration. If you are exercising daily, or live in a warm climate, it becomes even more important that you remain properly hydrated. If you experience dehydrating symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea contact your doctor for further medical advice.

Patients that are taking empagliflozin need to be aware of the symptoms of ketoacidosis, a condition that occurs when there is an elevated level of ketones in the bloodstream. If you experience severe nausea, increased thirst or urination, difficulty breathing, or vomiting it is important that seek immediate emergency medical attention. This condition is harmful and can even be life-threatening. Be aware of the symptoms and what to do if you experience ketoacidosis while taking empagliflozin.

Empagliflozin can also cause low blood sugar or hypoglycemia in some cases. This risk is elevated in patients that are also taking other medications for the treatment of their diabetes. It is important that you are aware of the symptoms of hypoglycemia as this condition can cause you to temporarily lose consciousness. If you feel as though you are drunk, experience blurry vision, or have difficulty thinking you may be experiencing hypoglycemia. Other symptoms include drowsiness, pale skin, shakiness, nausea, increased heartbeat speed, headaches that do not go away, confusion and cold sweats. Your doctor can help you to more effectively manage your blood sugar levels to avoid the unpleasant experience of hypoglycemia.

Female patients that are taking empagliflozin may experience unwanted vaginal yeast infections, and men who are on this medication have reported instances of yeast infections affecting the penis. These symptoms become more likely for men who have not been circumcised and in patients that have a history of yeast infections in the genital area. If you have a yeast infection while taking empagliflozin it is important that you inform your doctor as soon as possible.

Urinary tract infections can also occur more often in patients that are taking this medication. It is important that patients that experience this condition notify their doctor immediately of this condition as it must be treated right away. Common symptoms of urinary tract infections include painful urination, lower back or pain in one's side, bladder pain, cloudy urine, blood in the urine, difficulty urinating, and pain and burning that occur when relieving one's bladder.

It is important to inform your physician of all medications that you are taking prior to starting your empagliflozin course of treatment. If there are any changes to the medications that you are taking, or how you take them, be sure to alert your prescribing physician right away.

Storage

It is always best to store all medication in its original packaging. Store empagliflozin in a dry area at room temperature. Do not expose to direct light, intense heat or cold, moisture or allow the medication to freeze.

It is important to keep this and all medication out of the reach of children.

If at the conclusion of your course of treatment, you should have excess medication, it is important that it be disposed of properly. Consult with your pharmacist or prescribing physician to learn more about the most appropriate disposal options.

Summary

Type 2 diabetes can cause or worsen other conditions, such as blood vessel disease and other heart ailments, Many patients that suffer from type 2 diabetes find relief when taking empagliflozin. This drug, available from your doctor via prescription, works to prevent the absorption of blood sugar, or glucose, from being absorbed into the kidneys, which in turn helps to keep the patient's blood sugar levels at a manageable level. Of note, this drug is not effective in patients that suffer from type 1 diabetes or are insulin dependent.

Patients are well-advised to familiarize themselves with all the potential side effects and conditions that can occur while they are taking this medication and how to respond appropriately. Patients who are taking empagliflozin can develop ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening condition, that requires immediate emergency medical attention.

Inform your doctor of any concerns that you have while taking this medication.