Jardiance Vs. Metformin: Which is Better to Treat Type 2 Diabetes?

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

Jardiance and Metformin are just two medications that people have available to them to treat type 2 diabetes. There are some similarities between them, but there are also a lot of differences. Both have been shown to be very effective at keeping blood sugar levels stable, lowering A1C, and helping people feel better.

Not every diabetes medication is appropriate for every patient. It is up to doctors to decide which one would work the best for every individual. But it is important to know the differences between Jardiance and metformin so that patients can understand their doctors’ choices for their health.

 

What is Jardiance? 

Jardiance is a newer medication that the FDA approved in 2014 to treat type 2 diabetes. It has shown to be very effective at lowering patients’ A1C by as much as 1%. This medication was also the first one in its classification to work well for patients who have been diagnosed with heart disease.

The generic name for Jardiance is empagliflozin, and doctors typically recommend that patients eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise in addition to taking it. The medication works by helping the kidneys to be more efficient as they remove glucose from the bloodstream.

Jardiance is a tablet that is taken once a day, usually in the morning. It comes in 10 mg and 25 mg strengths, and patients may begin with the lowest dose and then increase as they need to.

 

The Side Effects of Jardiance

Patients need to be aware of the side effects they may experience when taking Jardiance. Some of them are preventable, and others may go away with continued use. Most people will only ever experience urinary tract infections or yeast infections when they take this medication. But increasing their water intake and making sure they have good hygiene can help.

There are some more severe side effects that people should be aware of as well. Any of the following should be immediately reported to the patient’s doctor:

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

If these side effects occur, it may be necessary for the patient to change their medication.

 

What is Metformin? 

Metformin is the generic name for a medication that can be used to treat type 2 diabetes. It may be sold under a number of different brand names, such as:

Metformin may be used along with insulin or with other drugs as well. But it should never be used to treat type 1 diabetes.

Metformin might not be the best choice for everyone. It is not appropriate for people who have severe kidney disease, or are currently experiencing diabetic ketoacidosis or metabolic acidosis. Patients should always tell their doctor before taking this medication if they have a history of:

  • Heart disease, including congestive heart failure.
  • Liver disease. 
  • Kidney disease. 
  • High ketone levels in the urine or blood. 
  • Insulin use. 
  • The use of other medications for type 2 diabetes. 

Metformin is available in various dosage forms, including immediate-release tablets, extended-release tablets, and oral solution. Dosage amounts vary based on the amount of blood sugar control needed.

 

The Side Effects of Metformin

People who take metformin may experience some side effects. This is normal for any medication, and they may go away over time. Some of the more common side effects of metformin include: 

  • Stomach pain
  • Bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Headaches
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Muscle pain
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Gas

Some people may experience more severe side effects when taking metformin, such as skin rashes and chest pain. These are very serious and should be reported to the patient’s doctor immediately. It may be necessary for the patient to stop taking their medication and be switched to a different one. 

 

Jardiance Vs. Metformin: Which Medication Works Best for Type 2 Diabetes? 

Every patient is different as far as what medication they need to treat their type 2 diabetes. Doctors are very careful about weighing the pros and cons before prescribing anything to treat this condition. 

 

What are the Pros and Cons of Jardiance? 

The pros of taking Jardiance for type 2 diabetes are: 

  • Lower A1C levels by up to 1%.
  • It can be taken by mouth in tablet form
  • It typically does not cause extremely low blood sugar levels. 
  • It has been shown to lower blood sugar to appropriate levels. 
  • It is good for patients with a history of heart disease because it reduces the risk of hospitalization for heart failure
  • It can cause weight loss. 

The cons of taking Jardiance are: 

  • It can be more expensive than metformin and other medications for type 2 diabetes. 
  • Patients can experience an increase in yeast infections and urinary tract infections. 
  • If the patient does not drink enough water, it can cause them to become dehydrated. 

 

What are the Pros and Cons of Metformin? 

The pros of taking metformin include: 

  • It has been shown to control blood sugar levels well. 
  • It can lower a person’s risk of death from diabetes and from diabetes-related complications. 
  • It can lower some people’s A1C levels by as much as 2%. 
  • It does not lead to weight gain. 
  • It rarely causes seriously low blood sugar levels. 
  • It can be taken to prevent diabetes, treat gestational diabetes, or treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). 

The cons of taking metformin include: 

  • It can cause people to have an upset stomach, cramps, diarrhea, nausea or gas. 
  • It may not be the best option for patients who have kidney problems. 
  • It should not be used by people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol. 

Ultimately, doctors want to choose the medication that offers their patients the most benefits with the least amount of risks. That can be different for everyone. 

 

The Rx Advocates Can Help People Save Money on Their Monthly Jardiance Prescriptions

Many doctors will prescribe Jardiance to their patients because it is an effective newer drug that has a lot of benefits. But paying for Jardiance can be a challenge because of its high cost. If your doctor has given you a choice, but prefers Jardiance, you may be tempted to choose metformin simply because it is cheaper. 

Cheaper does not usually mean better. 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. 

Drugs.com. Metformin. https://www.drugs.com/metformin.html. April 28, 2021. 

Drugs.com. Glucophage. https://www.drugs.com/glucophage.html. May 3, 2020. 

Drugs.com. Glucophage XR. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/glucophage-xr.html. April 9, 2020. 

Drugs.com. Fortamet. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/fortamet.html. April 9, 2020. 

Drugs.com. Glumetza. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/glumetza.html. April 9, 2020. 

Drugs.com. Riomet. https://www.drugs.com/riomet.html/. May 3, 2020. 

Mayo Clinic. Metformin (Oral Route). https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/metformin-oral-route/description/drg-20067074. August 1, 2021. 

Medline Plus. Metformin. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a696005.html. March 15, 2020. 

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

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