What It's For & How To Take
Empagliflozin is an anti-diabetic medication used to help control high blood sugar in patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes known as type 2 diabetes.
This medication is only part of a complete treatment program which may also include exercise, diet, and other medications. Changing any of these factors may affect your blood sugar levels.
This medication works by helping your kidneys eliminate more sugar in the urine. This medication also decreases the amount of sugar that gets into your blood stream. Empagliflozin will not work for Type 1 diabetes.
Maintaining proper sugar level in your body helps prevent nerve damage, kidney problems, vision difficulties, decreases heart attack and stroke risk and helps maintain sexual function.
Empagliflozin is usually taken once daily, with or without food. Your dosage is based on your current condition. Your doctor may gradually increase your dose based on your response to therapy, blood sugar readings, and side effect tolerance.
If you are already taking another medication to treat Type 2 diabetes and your doctor wants to start you on this medication, ask your doctor if you need to change the dose of your first medication.
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip it and continue with your normal dose time. Do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.
If your doctor instructs you, check your blood sugar regularly and keep a record of the readings so you may share them with your doctor. If you have any high or low readings, please notify your healthcare provider.
Symptoms of low blood sugar include shaking, sweating, increased heartbeat, blurred vision, tingling in hands and feet, and hunger. Most often, low blood sugar will occur following heavy exercise, low-calorie intake, or heavy alcohol intake.
Symptoms of high blood sugar include thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, rapid breathing, and a fruity breath odor. Let your doctor know if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Diabetes education training programs help you understand diabetes and all the treatment and monitoring that goes along with it. Call your local hospital and ask them when the next diabetes education program is being offered.
Warnings & Cautions
- When you first start this medication, you may feel dizzy if you get up too fast from a sitting or lying position. To prevent falling, get up slowly and balance yourself.
- Carry glucose tablets with you in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar. In an emergency, table sugar, orange juice, or any other form of sugar will help raise your blood sugar. Make sure your close friends and family understand how to help you when you experience low blood sugar.
- You may need to check your blood sugar more often when you have a fever, infection, exercise more than usual, skip a meal, drink alcohol or any other event that stresses your body. Ask your doctor how you should adjust your dose if your blood sugar is high or low.
- This medication may make you dizzy, drowsy, or blur your vision. Do not drive or do any activity that requires focus and attention until you are sure you can do them safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages while taking empagliflozin.
- Let your pharmacist or doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking this medication.
Interactions & Side Effects
- Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if empagliflozin is safe for you to take.
- Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don't take them very often.
- Do not take this medication if you have chronic kidney disease. Tell your doctor your complete medical history to see if this medication is safe for you to take. Tell your doctor if you have a history of low blood pressure, genital yeast infections, any bladder or kidney problems or any history of liver disease.
- While taking empagliflozin, you may feel light-headed or dizzy, increased urination, nausea or constipated. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
- Call your doctor right away if you begin to experience any burning or painful urination, urine that is cloudy, brown or strong smelling, signs of a genital yeast infection or any other unwanted or unusual side effect.