Empagliflozin is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat type 2 diabetes (gradual loss of capacity of the pancreas to produce enough insulin). This medicine helps treat your diabetes by keeping your blood sugar under control.
This medicine is meant to be taken as part of a complete diabetes care programme that should include exercise, a healthy diet and regular monitoring of blood sugar levels.
Take Empagliflozin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Empagliflozin must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel well. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have severe kidney disease or undergoing dialysis as Empagliflozin may not be suitable for you.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- genital infections
- uncircumcised males
- urinary tract infection (UTI)
- stress-related events e.g. fever, infection, injury, surgery
- problems in your pancreas (e.g. pancreatitis, surgery on your pancreas)
- kidney disease
This medicine is not intended for the treatment of type 1 diabetes (your body does not produce any insulin) or diabetic ketoacidosis (complication of diabetes characterised by high level of blood acid in your body).
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant.
Notify your doctor if you consume large amounts of alcohol or if you are a frequent drinker.
If you are going to have an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Empagliflozin.
If you are diabetic, this medicine may interfere with results of urine tests for sugar and ketones. Discuss with your doctor how you should monitor your urine tests while taking this medicine.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Empagliflozin to the elderly. Elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Routine tests (e.g. kidney function, sugar and electrolyte levels) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine.
- Regular monitoring of signs of low blood pressure and diabetic ketoacidosis (e.g. nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, malaise, shortness of breath) may also be needed.
Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
If you are taking Empagliflozin with other types of oral anti-diabetic medicines, you may have been warned about hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). This medicine itself does not usually cause hypoglycaemia, but it may increase the hypoglycaemic effect of other oral anti-diabetic medicines.
How do I know if I am experiencing hypoglycaemia?
Hypoglycaemia is the medical term for low blood sugar. Symptoms of hypoglycaemia include dizziness, tremor, shaky hands, feeling hungry, weak or confused, sweating. These signs are your body’s way of warning you that your blood sugar level is low.
It is important to recognise these symptoms and get relief for hypoglycaemia quickly, as the hypoglycaemia may worsen.
What should I do if I am experiencing hypoglycaemia?
Always carry some glucose tablets (also known as dextrose tablets) with you. Take 15 g of glucose tablet at first sign of hypoglycaemia, wait for 15 minutes and re-check your blood sugar level. If you are not feeling better or if your blood sugar level is still low (less than 4 mmol/L or 70 mg/dL), take another 15 g of glucose tablet.
If you don’t have glucose tablets, you may take any of the following:
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) of juice or regular soda (not diet)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey, or corn syrup
- hard candies, jellybeans, or gumdrops (not sugar-free)
Get medical help should symptoms did not improve after second serving.
Empagliflozin may cause any of the following side effects: thirst, rash and frequent urination.
This medicine may cause you to be more prone to genital infections. Signs and symptoms include genital irritation or itching and an unusual discharge or odour. Maintain good hygiene to reduce the chance of this effect.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- raised red areas on your skin, swelling of the face, lips or throat, difficulty breathing or swallowing
- nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, tiredness and trouble breathing
- loss of appetite
- burning feeling when passing urine, immediate need to urinate, back pain and fever
- tenderness, swelling or pain in the genital area with fever or malaise
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- diuretics or “water pills” e.g. furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide
- other medicines for diabetes e.g. insulin, glipizide, glimepiride
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.