Jardiance is a commonly prescribed oral medication used to help treat blood sugar levels and A1C in people with type 2 diabetes.
It is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a stand-alone weight loss medication.
However, many people who take Jardiance do lose weight.
This article will explain everything you need to know about Jardiance and weight loss.
Table of Contents
- What is Jardiance?
- Can Jardiance help you lose weight?
- How does Jardiance help you lose weight?
- How quickly can you lose weight on Jardiance?
- What dose of Jardiance should I take for weight loss?
- What are the side effects?
- Who should not take Jardiance?
- Can Jardiance replace insulin?
- Are Jardiance and Rybelsus the same?
- Can I take Jardiance for weight loss if I don’t have diabetes?
- Can you gain weight on Jardiance?
What is Jardiance?
Jardiance is the name brand for the medication empagliflozin. It is an oral medication taken daily in the form of a pill or tablet.
It is only approved for people ten years and older who have type 2 diabetes.
This medication falls under the drug class of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2, also known as an SGLT-2 inhibitor medication.
These types of medications are commonly called gliflozins.
Can Jardiance help you lose weight?
Yes. In studies, Jardiance does help people lose excess body weight.
In a trial, people taking 10 mg of Jardiance lost 2.5% of their body weight. With the 25 mg dose, people lost an average of 2.8% of their total body weight.
This correlates to between 4-9 pounds for someone who weighs between 200-300 pounds.
In a 2018 systematic review, Jardiance weight loss was usually modest, but people can achieve between 3-5% total body weight reduction through continual treatment of between 9 months to 2 years.
Other studies have found that Jardiance use is associated with a reduction in weight, waist circumference, and adiposity indices versus people taking the placebo.
However, the efficacy of the medication does rely on diet and physical activity changes.
How does Jardiance help you lose weight?
Jardiance helps people lose weight through a couple of mechanisms.
- It helps the body expel excess sugar and calories from food through the urine, by blocking reabsorption of glucose in the kidneys.
- Mild diuresis—Blocking reabsorption of glucose in the kidneys also expels excess water and sodium, increasing urination. This can cause weight loss when you first start taking the medication.
Jardiance is most effective, and weight loss is more sustainable when it is combined with a healthy diet and exercise plan.
How quickly can you lose weight on Jardiance?
Jardiance is meant for long-term use and is not meant to be taken to lose weight quickly. Any sustainable weight loss plan will take time and happen gradually.
People who lose weight while taking Jardiance may lose 2-3 pounds in the first few weeks of taking the medication (due to increased urination and temporary fluid loss).
Additional weight loss of between 1-2 pounds per month is to be expected.
Additionally, this is no guarantee and may only happen if the medication is combined with a healthy eating plan and increased daily physical activity.
What dose of Jardiance should I take for weight loss?
Since Jardiance is not FDA-approved as a weight loss medication, there is no recommended dose for weight loss.
However, the medication is dose-dependent, meaning that the more medication you take, the more effective it may be.
Jardiance comes in two different doses: 10 mg or 25 mg, taken once per day in a pill or tablet form.
Work with your doctor to figure out the right dose for you and your health history, lifestyle, and health goals.
What are the side effects?
Unfortunately, Jardiance does have some side effects, especially when you first start taking the medication.
You may experience the following side effects while taking Jardiance:
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Genital yeast infection
- Frequent urination
- Excessive (amount) of urination
- Upper respiratory infection (the common cold)
- Joint pain
- Allergic reaction
- Increased thirst
You may also experience some severe side effects, although this is more rare.
The more severe side effects of Jardiance 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
- Severe urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Kidney infection
- Severe allergic reaction
Most side effects will go away on their own after the first few days or weeks that you’re on the medication.
Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if your side effects are severe and they do not go away or continue to get worse.
Who should not take Jardiance?
You should only take Jardiance if your doctor has prescribed it for you. It is not FDA-approved for people who do not have diabetes.
Jardiance is not recommended for people who are pregnant. If you are on Jardiance and are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, you will have to stop the medication.
Do not use Jardiance if you are allergic to empagliflozin or any of the ingredients in Jardiance.
Tell your doctor all medications that you use before starting treatment with Jardiance.
Can Jardiance replace insulin?
No. Jardiance cannot replace insulin.
If you’ve recently been prescribed Jardiance, do not stop taking your other diabetes medications as prescribed unless your doctor has specifically told you to.
Jardiance lowers blood sugars over time, but it does not cause acute low blood sugars in the way that insulin does.
If you’re experiencing frequent low blood sugars while taking Jardiance, this most likely means that your insulin sensitivity has increased. You’ll need to decrease your insulin dose.
Talk with your doctor about adjusting your medication and/or insulin doses to help avoid frequent low blood sugar levels.
Are Jardiance and Rybelsus the same?
Jardiance and Rybelsus are both oral medications used in the treatment of blood sugar levels for people who have type 2 diabetes.
They both may cause modest amounts of weight loss in people who take them.
However, they are very different, have different dosing schedules, and have different active ingredients. They are not the same.
Jardiance is an SGLT-2 inhibitor medication, and Rybelsus is a GLP-1 agonist medication.
You cannot mix these medications or swap one for the other.
Can I take Jardiance for weight loss if I don’t have diabetes?
This is not recommended. Jardiance is not a weight loss medication and will usually only result in modest amounts of weight loss in most people.
There are more effective medications that are FDA-approved specifically for weight loss for people who do not have diabetes.
Talk to your doctor about weight loss medication alternatives, such as Wegovy that may help you lose weight if you do not have diabetes.
Can you gain weight on Jardiance?
Yes. You can gain weight while taking Jardiance—though it isn’t very common!
Everyone will respond to diabetes medications differently. While Jardiance is not intended to be taken to gain weight, your body may respond to the medication by doing so.
Other diabetes medications that are known to cause weight gain are sulfonylureas, glinides, and insulin.