Jardiance is an oral medication used to treat blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It can be extremely helpful for improving your diabetes management. 

However, there are some common and severe side effects that you should know about.

This article will explain all the side effects of Jardiance, how you can treat them, and what you should know about them before starting your medication—especially if you’ve recently been prescribed it. 

Image of a pharmacist explaining a medication to a customer.

What is Jardiance?

Jardiance is a pill or tablet taken in conjunction with diet and exercise to help people with type 2 diabetes better manage their blood sugar levels. 

In a 24-week study of adults with type 2 diabetes, a 10 mg dose of Jardiance helped 38% of people lower their A1C below 7%. 

Additionally, the medication helped people lower their fasting blood sugar levels by up to 25 points.

Jardiance is also proven to help lower the risk of heart disease death and hospitalization for heart failure in adults living with heart failure. 

While the drug is not FDA-approved as a standalone weight loss medication, Jardiance may help you lose weight

Read more: Everything You Need to Know About Jardiance

How does it work in the body?

Jardiance lowers blood sugars by preventing your kidneys from reabsorbing sugar that is created by your body. The extra sugar and calories then leave your body through your urine.

Helping to improve your insulin sensitivity and managing your weight helps improve cardiovascular health as well. 

What are the common side effects?

Unfortunately, Jardiance may cause side effects, especially when you first start taking the medication. 

The following are common side effects of Jardiance:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI) 
  • Genital yeast infection 
  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive (amount) of urination 

What are the mild side effects? 

Jardiance may cause mild side effects that are also less frequent.

These side effects include:

  • Upper respiratory infection (the common cold)
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea 
  • Allergic reaction
  • Increased thirst 

Most side effects of Jardiance will go away after a few weeks on the medication. 

If, however, they do not go away or if they get worse (or if you suspect you’re having an allergic reaction to the medication), contact your doctor right away.

Do not stop taking any diabetes medications unless recommended by your doctor first. 

What are the more serious side effects?

Jardiance may also cause more serious side effects. 

These side effects include: 

  • Low blood pressure
  • Kidney damage
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)
  • High cholesterol (especially LDL) 
  • Low blood sugar, especially if you’re on insulin
  • Serious genital infections, including necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum
  • Dehydration
  • Severe urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Kidney infection
  • Severe allergic reaction 

Some of these more severe side effects can cause serious health complications and even death. 

Contact your doctor right away or seek emergency medical assistance as soon as possible if you’re experiencing any severe side effects after taking Jardiance. 

How long does it take for the side effects to go away?

Unfortunately, side effects while taking Jardiance are extremely common. 

Fortunately, they do go away—usually within a few days or weeks after you first start taking the medication. 

However, if the side effects last longer than that or if they become more severe, contact your doctor. 

Your doctor may have solutions, strategies, or even an alternative medication you can try that may be more appropriate for you. 

How can I manage the side effects? 

Some strategies to help you manage the side effects of Jardiance include: 

  • Taking your dose in the morning can help alleviate the need to urinate at night. 
  • Staying hydrated with water can help to prevent dehydration from frequent urination (check with your doctor if you suffer from low blood pressure or heart failure about daily liquid limits.)
  • Keeping your genital area clean and dry can help prevent infections. 
  • Taking your Jardiance dose with a meal can help prevent nausea. 
  • Seeing your doctor regularly can help you monitor for severe side effects. 

Is Jardiance safe for long-term use?

Yes. Jardiance is safe for long-term use, and if you’ve been prescribed the medication, you should continue to take it until your doctor advises you to stop doing so.

Can Jardiance affect your heart?

Jardiance is proven to improve heart health. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular death and hospitalization for heart failure in adults with heart failure. 

Heart failure is a serious condition where the heart cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body.

Jardiance also improves cholesterol levels and blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes. 

This is important because heart disease is the number one cause of death in people with diabetes. 

How can I prevent a UTI while taking Jardiance?

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs for short, are a very common side effect of taking Jardiance. 

This is because the medication makes the body expel excess sugar from the foods you eat through the urine. This excess sugar is like food for bacteria, which increases the risk of UTIs.

Many UTIs are mild and go away with a simple course of antibiotics. However, if left untreated, a UTI can turn into a more serious complication, such as a kidney infection or even sepsis. 

Make sure to keep a close watch if you’re feeling any symptoms of a UTI. 

These include:

  • Needing to urinate more than usual
  • Pain or burning when urinating 
  • Sudden urges to urinate
  • Feeling as though you cannot fully empty your bladder
  • Cloudy urine
  • Feeling tired, fatigued, or lethargic 

If you feel a sudden onset of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away

To help prevent a UTI, make sure to:

  • Wear loose-fitting underwear and clothing
  • Maintain good hygiene 
  • Keep your genital area dry
  • Maintain tight blood sugar control
  • Do not eat excess or added sugar in foods and drinks 
  • Stay hydrated with water 

What medications should I avoid while taking Jardiance?

Talk to your doctor about all the medications you currently take and ask if they’ll interact with Jardiance before beginning treatment with Jardiance. 

Jardiance will interact with several medications, including:

Some combinations of these medications can increase the risk of dehydration and low blood sugar. Talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have. 

Can you drink coffee while taking Jardiance?

Both Jardiance and caffeine can make you urinate more often and also make you dehydrated. 

For these reasons, it is best to limit beverages containing caffeine, including tea, coffee, and energy drinks, while taking Jardiance. 

Is Jardiance hard on the kidneys? 

Jardiance may be hard on the kidneys. This is because the medication lowers blood sugar by expelling excess sugar from the body through the kidneys and the urinary tract. 

If you’re taking Jardiance, keep a watch out for kidney damage. 

Symptoms of kidney damage may include:

  • Decreased urination
  • Swelling in the lower legs and ankles
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue 

Do not take Jardiance if you have existing kidney damage, kidney disease, or chronic kidney disease (CKD). 

Talk to your doctor about alternatives that may be more appropriate for you.