Jardiance (empagliflozin) is a popular medication for lower blood sugar in individuals with type 2 diabetes. It can also be used to reduce the risk of heart failure. Jardiance cannot be used to treat type 1 diabetes.
Jardiance is recommended by the American Diabetes Association Standards of Care in treating type 2 diabetes. As a result, this medication is commonly prescribed to adults in the United States.
While taking Jardiance, patients should be aware of potential drug and food interactions. Consuming alcohol excessively while taking Jardiance can lead to dangerous side effects. Read on to learn how Jardiance interacts with alcohol and how you can minimize side effects.
What is Jardiance?
Jardiance is the brand name for the sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor drug with the active ingredient empagliflozin. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals manufactures it. Currently, there is no generic form of this drug available.
How Does Jardiance Work?
Jardiance works by inhibiting SGLT2 in the body. In turn, the body will remove some sugar it doesn’t need through urination. As a result, a patient will experience lower blood sugar and A1C levels.
It can take up to 24 weeks for the full effects of the medication and for patients to see results. It is important to continue taking your medication daily.
Though Jardiance was not intended for weight loss, some patients experience weight loss and lower blood pressure while taking Jardiance.
How is Jardiance Taken?
Jardiance is a medication that is taken once daily in pill form. It can be prescribed in 10 or 25 mg tablets.
A doctor will prescribe your dosage based on factors considering your overall health, other medications you may be taking, and if you have kidney or liver disease.
Jardiance can be taken with or without food. Tablets should be taken in the whole form and not crushed or broken.
Am I Able to Drink While Taking Jardiance?
Drinking alcohol while taking Jardiance is not prohibited, however, patients should be aware of the potential for negative side effects. Drinking alcohol can raise or lower blood sugar resulting in hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.
As a result, there is a moderate interaction between Jardiance and alcohol.
What are the Side Effects of Drinking Alcohol While Taking Jardiance?
The side effects of drinking while taking Jardiance will depend on how much alcohol you consume and how often. The chance for side effects will increase if your diabetes is not well controlled or if you have high triglycerides, neuropathy (nerve damage), or pancreatitis.
Alcohol can impact your blood sugar levels and result in hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can result in a variety of physical symptoms when blood sugar levels fall.
- Feeling shaky, nervous, or anxious
- Sweating, chills, and clamminess
- Feeling irritable or impatient
- Rapid heartbeat
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- Hunger or nausea
- Color draining from the skin (pallor)
- Feeling weak or having no energy
- Blurred/impaired vision
- Tingling or numbness in the lips, tongue, or cheeks
- Coordination problems, clumsiness
- Nightmares or crying out during sleep
If blood glucose levels remain low for an extended period, it can lead to seizures, coma, and very rarely death.
If you experience low blood sugar, it is recommended to treat it as soon as possible and consult with your doctor.
Alcohol consumption can also result in hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar can be dangerous.
Symptoms of hyperglycemia are sometimes hard to identify and include increased urination and thirst. If you experience these, it is recommended to check your blood glucose levels.
Left untreated, high blood sugar can result in a condition called ketoacidosis.
How Much Alcohol Can I Drink While Taking Jardiance?
While the amount of alcohol you will be able to drink without side effects will depend on your circumstances, it is recommended to limit alcohol while taking Jardiance.
This means, one drink daily for women and two drinks for men.
One drink is defined as 5 oz wine, 12 oz beer, or 1.5 oz of hard alcohol.
What Can I Do to Minimize Side Effects?
To minimize the effects of alcohol and your Jardiance medication, if you are going to consume alcohol, it is recommended not to drink on an empty stomach.
Also, if you are consuming alcohol, plan not to exercise before or after drinking. Exercise can increase the risk of hypoglycemia as your body uses sugar for energy.
As previously mentioned, it is not recommended for anyone with type 2 diabetes to drink excessively as it can cause blood sugar levels to become unpredictable. Try to limit your alcohol consumption to one drink per day if you are a woman and two per day if you are a man.
If you are experiencing side effects, it is important to discuss these with your doctor. Jardiance itself can also have side effects so if you experience any it may not be a result of consuming alcohol. Some of the most common side effects of Jardiance are urinary tract infections and yeast infections.
The best way to minimize side effects is to make healthy lifestyle choices. This includes trying to maintain healthy blood sugar levels through diet and exercise. Limiting foods with a high glycemic index and unhealthy carbohydrates should be a goal.
How Do Other Medications Interact With Alcohol and Jardiance?
If you regularly take supplements or other medications, make sure your healthcare provider is aware. Certain blood pressure medications may also cause a potential to become dehydrated, which drinking alcohol would worsen. Water pills (diuretics) also have this effect.
A pharmacist will also be able to answer your questions about drug interactions. Drug interactions can be complex and unknown. Be sure to report any new or worsening symptoms to your healthcare provider.
Also, it is important not to stop or start any new medications or supplements without notifying your doctor. Jardiance needs to be taken daily consistently to work as intended. Stopping or starting a medication may affect your dosing.
Jardiance and The Rx Advocates
The Rx Advocates is a patient advocacy company that helps people afford medications like Jardiance. If you or someone you know is prescribed this medication, contact The Rx Advocates to see if you can use savings from our services.
Our services come at no cost to you and allow a person to pay a flat monthly cost for their regular prescription. Then, medications are shipped to you with no extra charge.
We are able to do this by helping patients take advantage of patient assistance programs established by pharmaceutical companies. These programs are designed to help patients afford their medications. Jardiance currently has a program like this in place to assist patients.
Sometimes, the applications and process to enroll in these programs can be confusing or difficult. The Rx Advocates will help you to determine if you qualify for the programs and then assist you in enrolling.
We are here to answer all of your questions about the process and help you start saving on your Jardiance prescription. Give us a call today to get started!