Jardiance Vs. Januvia: What is the Difference?

Authored by The Rx Advocates, / Medically Reviewed by Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS
Last Updated: October 5, 2021

Both Jardiance and Januvia are medications that doctors prescribe to treat type 2 diabetes. They are similar, but there are some differences in them as well. Both have proven to be helpful and effective when combined with a proper diet and an overall healthy lifestyle. 

Doctors carefully weigh the pros and cons of each medication with their patients in mind before prescribing anything to treat diabetes. Here, we want to talk about Jardiance Vs. Januvia and why a doctor might choose one over the other to treat type 2 diabetes. 

 

What is Jardiance? 

Jardiance is a medication for patients with type 2 diabetes that is effective at lowering patients’ A1C. In addition, it is the first medication of its kind to reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular issues in adults who have heart disease. 

Jardiance is also sold under the generic name, empagliflozin. It works by assisting the kidneys as they remove glucose from the bloodstream. Doctors typically recommend this medication along with a healthy diet and regular exercise. 

Jardiance comes in the form of a tablet, and it is available in 10 mg and 25 mg strengths. Patients typically take it once a day, usually in the morning, with or without food. 

 

Jardiance Side Effects

Like other medications, Jardiance does have side effects that patients need to be aware of. The two most common side effects of this medication are urinary tract infections and yeast infections. However, maintaining good hygiene and increasing one’s water intake can help people avoid them. 

Occasionally, some experience more serious side effects when taking Jardiance. These should immediately be reported to a doctor: 

  • Dehydration
  • Chronic yeast infections
  • Kidney problems
  • Ketoacidosis
  • Chronic urinary tract infections
  • Low blood sugar levels
  • Allergic reactions
  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Necrotizing fasciitis

 

What is Januvia? 

Januvia is also a medication that doctors may prescribe to treat type 2 diabetes. In many ways, it is very similar to Jardiance. It has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels in adults who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. 

This medication should never be used to treat type 1 diabetes or in people who have, or who have ever had, pancreatitis or are currently experiencing diabetic ketoacidosis. 

Januvia also works best when it is paired with a regular exercise program and a healthy diet. It is sold under the generic name sitagliptin, and it works by regulating the amount of insulin the body produces after a person eats. 

Doctors should always be made aware of their patients’ health conditions before prescribing any medications. Patients need to let their doctor know of all of the following before taking Januvia: 

  • History or risk of pancreatitis. 
  • Heart problems. 
  • Kidney disease or if they are on dialysis. 
  • Gallstones.
  • Alcoholism. 
  • High triglyceride levels. 

Doctors typically prescribe 100 mg of Januvia for their patients. Although, this may need to be adjusted, depending on how the individual’s kidney functions.

 

Januvia Side Effects

Januvia has a longer list of side effects and risks than Jardiance does. Most people will only experience the more common side effects when taking this medication, and they should go away with time. They include: 

  • Upper respiratory infections
  • A stuffy or runny nose
  • Headaches
  • A sore throat
  • An upset stomach
  • Diarrhea

Other, more severe side effects have been known to occur as well. Patients who take Januvia may be at an increased risk for pancreatitis, which means that their pancreas may become inflamed. This can be severe and it can even lead to death. 

Anyone who is taking this medication and who begins experiencing severe pain in their stomach area should contact their doctor right away. 

Januvia may worsen heart failure in certain people, but the evidence is conflicting. Patients should contact their doctors if they experience any of the following: 

  • Shortness of breath or problems breathing, especially when they are lying down. 
  • An increase in weight that occurred quickly. 
  • Feeling unusually tired. 
  • Fluid retention or swelling in the legs, feet or ankles. 

Some patients may experience symptoms of low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, while taking Januvia. It is important to know these symptoms, which can include: 

  • Dizziness
  • Feeling jittery
  • Having a faster heartbeat than normal
  • Headaches
  • Feeling drowsy
  • Becoming irritable
  • Hunger
  • Feeling confused
  • Excessive sweating
  • Feeling weak

Other issues that may develop and that should be reported to the doctor include any skin reactions – such as blisters or a breakdown of the outer layer of skin – and joint pain. 

 

Jardiance Vs. Januvia: Which Medication is Better for Type 2 Diabetes?

It is difficult to say which medication is better to treat type 2 diabetes because every patient is different with their own unique needs. Doctors always keep a patient’s medical history in mind to ensure that they choose a medication that will be best for them individually. 

But it can be helpful to take a look at some of the pros and cons of each medication. 

 

Jardiance Pros and Cons

The pros of taking Jardiance include: 

  • It has been proven to lower blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes.
  • It lowers A1C levels by as much as 1%.
  • In patients who have pre-existing heart disease, it can lower their chance of dying from a heart attack, heart failure, or stroke. 
  • It can be taken orally in the form of a pill. 
  • It can cause healthy weight loss. 
  • It is not as likely to cause extremely low blood sugar. 

The cons of taking Jardiance include: 

  • An increased risk of yeast infections. 
  • It may cost more than Januvia and some other medications for diabetes. 
  • It can cause dehydration. 

 

Januvia Pros and Cons

The pros of taking Januvia include: 

  • It can be taken orally in the form of a pill. 
  • It works well when added to some other medications to help control blood sugar levels. 
  • It has not been linked to worsening heart failure. 
  • It uses the body’s own natural hormones to impact how sugar is processed. 
  • It is less likely to cause weight gain than some other medications. 
  • It is less likely to cause low blood sugar levels than some other medications. 

The cons of taking Januvia include: 

  • It lowers A1C levels by less than 1% over time. 
  • It can cause symptoms that are similar to catching a cold. 
  • It can cause pancreatitis and severe joint pain in some people. 

 

Get Help Covering the Cost of Jardiance and Januvia from The Rx Advocates

Regardless of which medication your doctor has chosen to prescribe for you, the fact is that diabetic medications can be costly. A month’s supply can cost several hundred dollars, which is often too much for people to afford. As a result, they may be tempted to go without it and try to self-treat their conditions with diet and exercise alone. 

At The Rx Advocates, we want people to know that they can afford their monthly medications when they work with us. Our program can help them save hundreds of dollars every month on these medications. 

Would you like to know more about The Rx Advocates’ patient advocacy program? We are here to help. Please contact us today. 

 

Sources: 

Jardiance. Jardiance. https://www.jardiance.com/. July 2021. 

Jardiance. Starting Jardiance. https://www.jardiance.com/taking-jardiance/. July 2021. 

Januvia. Januvia. https://www.januvia.com/. July 2020. 

Januvia. Possible Risks and Side Effects of Januvia. https://www.januvia.com/possible-risks-and-side-effects/. July 2021. 

Iodine. Compare Jardiance vs. Januvia. https://www.iodine.com/compare/jardiance-vs-januvia. 2021. 

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