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Why is this medication prescribed?

Empagliflozin is prescribed primarily for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. It belongs to a class of medications called sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. SGLT2 inhibitors work by blocking the reabsorption of glucose by the kidneys, leading to increased glucose excretion in the urine and thus lowering blood sugar levels.

Empagliflozin is often used along with diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes. It may be prescribed alone or in combination with other antidiabetic medications, such as metformin, sulfonylureas, or insulin, depending on the individual’s needs and response to treatment.

Additionally, empagliflozin has shown cardiovascular benefits in some clinical trials, reducing the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular death in patients with type 2 diabetes and established cardiovascular disease. This cardiovascular benefit has led to its use not only for glycemic control but also for reducing cardiovascular risk in certain patients. However, its use should always be under the supervision and prescription of a qualified healthcare provider.

How should this medicine be used?

Empagliflozin is typically taken orally, usually once daily, with or without food. The dosage prescribed by a healthcare provider may vary depending on individual factors such as the patient’s medical condition, kidney function, and other medications they may be taking.

It’s essential to follow the dosage instructions provided by the prescribing healthcare professional. Taking empagliflozin exactly as directed is crucial for achieving the best results and minimizing the risk of side effects.

Here are some general guidelines for using empagliflozin:

  • Follow the prescribed dosage and administration instructions provided by your healthcare provider.
  • Take empagliflozin at the same time each day to maintain consistent blood levels.
  • Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablet before swallowing.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
  • Continue taking empagliflozin even if you feel well. It’s essential to keep your blood sugar levels under control consistently.
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • Inform your healthcare provider about any other medications, supplements, or herbal products you are taking, as they may interact with empagliflozin.
  • Follow any dietary or lifestyle recommendations provided by your healthcare provider, such as maintaining a healthy diet and engaging in regular physical activity.

It’s crucial to attend all scheduled medical appointments and laboratory tests while taking empagliflozin to monitor your response to the medication and detect any potential side effects or complications. If you have any questions or concerns about how to use empagliflozin, don’t hesitate to consult your healthcare provider for guidance.

Other uses for this medicine

Empagliflozin is primarily used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, it may have other potential uses beyond its approved indication. Some research suggests that empagliflozin and other SGLT2 inhibitors may have benefits in conditions such as heart failure and chronic kidney disease. Clinical trials are ongoing to explore these potential uses further.

What special precautions should I follow?

When taking empagliflozin or any medication, it’s important to follow certain special precautions to ensure safe and effective use. Here are some precautions to consider:

  • Kidney function: Empagliflozin is primarily eliminated from the body through the kidneys. Individuals with impaired kidney function may require dose adjustments or should not take empagliflozin at all. Your healthcare provider will evaluate your kidney function before prescribing empagliflozin and may monitor it periodically during treatment.
  • Dehydration: Empagliflozin can increase urination, which may lead to dehydration, particularly in individuals who are elderly or have kidney problems. It’s essential to stay adequately hydrated while taking empagliflozin, especially during hot weather or when exercising. Drinking plenty of fluids is recommended unless otherwise advised by your healthcare provider.
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension): Empagliflozin may cause a drop in blood pressure, particularly in individuals taking antihypertensive medications or those with a history of low blood pressure. Your healthcare provider may monitor your blood pressure regularly and adjust your medication regimen as needed.
  • Genital infections: Some individuals taking empagliflozin may experience genital yeast infections or urinary tract infections. It’s important to maintain good hygiene and seek medical attention if you experience symptoms such as itching, burning, or unusual discharge.
  • Ketoacidosis: Although rare, empagliflozin may increase the risk of a serious condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, particularly in individuals with type 1 diabetes or those with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, confusion, or unusual fatigue.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: The safety of empagliflozin during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been established. If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the risks and benefits of empagliflozin with your healthcare provider before starting or continuing treatment.
  • Surgery and medical procedures: Inform your healthcare provider or surgeon that you are taking empagliflozin before undergoing any surgical procedures or medical tests. You may need to temporarily discontinue empagliflozin treatment in certain situations.
  • Alcohol: Drinking alcohol in moderation while taking empagliflozin is generally considered safe. However, excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of dehydration and may affect blood sugar control. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether it’s safe for you to drink alcohol while taking empagliflozin.

It’s essential to discuss any questions or concerns about empagliflozin and its potential risks and benefits with your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized guidance based on your medical history and individual circumstances.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary restrictions for individuals taking empagliflozin. However, maintaining a healthy diet is essential for managing diabetes effectively. Focus on consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Limit your intake of sugary foods and beverages, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of empagliflozin, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose. If it’s close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Empagliflozin, like any medication, can cause side effects, although not everyone will experience them. Some common side effects of empagliflozin include:

  • Genital yeast infections: In women, empagliflozin may increase the risk of vaginal yeast infections, which can cause itching, burning, and abnormal discharge.
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs): Some individuals may experience UTIs while taking empagliflozin, which can cause symptoms such as painful urination, frequent urination, and lower abdominal discomfort.
  • Increased urination: Empagliflozin works by increasing glucose excretion through the urine, which can lead to increased urination. Some people may find this side effect bothersome.
  • Hypoglycemia: While empagliflozin is not typically associated with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), it can occur when combined with other diabetes medications that lower blood sugar levels. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, dizziness, sweating, confusion, and hunger.
  • Dehydration: Empagliflozin may cause dehydration, particularly in individuals who are elderly or have kidney problems. Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, excessive thirst, weakness, dizziness, and decreased urination.
  • Low blood pressure: Empagliflozin may cause a slight decrease in blood pressure, leading to symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting, especially when standing up quickly from a sitting or lying position.
  • Increased cholesterol levels: Some individuals may experience increases in LDL cholesterol levels while taking empagliflozin.
  • Bone fractures: There have been reports of an increased risk of bone fractures, particularly in individuals with pre-existing risk factors for fractures.
  • Hypersensitivity reactions: Rarely, empagliflozin may cause allergic reactions, such as rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any signs of a severe allergic reaction.

It’s important to note that this is not a complete list of side effects associated with empagliflozin. Some people may experience other side effects not listed here. If you experience any unusual or bothersome symptoms while taking empagliflozin, it’s essential to consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation and guidance.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and Disposal:

  • Store empagliflozin tablets at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
  • Keep empagliflozin in its original packaging or container to protect it from light and moisture.
  • Keep empagliflozin out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do not use empagliflozin beyond the expiration date printed on the packaging.


  • Dispose of unused or expired empagliflozin tablets according to local guidelines and regulations.
  • Do not flush empagliflozin down the toilet or pour it down the drain unless instructed to do so by your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
  • Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about the proper disposal method for empagliflozin.

In case of emergency/overdose

If you suspect an overdose or experience severe symptoms after taking empagliflozin, such as extreme thirst, confusion, drowsiness, seizures, or loss of consciousness, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Contact your local poison control center or emergency room for assistance. Be prepared to provide information about the medication, dosage, and timing of ingestion.

What other information should I know?

  • Keep all appointments with your healthcare provider for regular check-ups and monitoring of your condition while taking empagliflozin.
  • Inform all healthcare providers involved in your care, including dentists and pharmacists, that you are taking empagliflozin.
  • Carry identification or wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace indicating that you have diabetes and are taking empagliflozin.
  • Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully regarding diet, exercise, and other lifestyle modifications to manage your diabetes effectively.
  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and how to treat it.
  • Report any new or worsening symptoms to your healthcare provider promptly.
  • Inform your healthcare provider about all other medications, supplements, or herbal products you are taking, as they may interact with empagliflozin.
  • Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol while taking empagliflozin, as it may increase the risk of dehydration and other side effects.
  • Do not change your dose or stop taking empagliflozin without consulting your healthcare provider.

Following these guidelines will help ensure safe and effective use of empagliflozin. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

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