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Jardiance (Empagliflozin): Health Benefits and Cost Considerations

What Is Jardiance (Empagliflozin)?

Jardiance is a medicine based on the active substance empagliflozin. Jardiance drug class is hypoglycemic agents for oral use, namely, it is an inhibitor of sodium-dependent glucose transporter type 2. This medicine is produced in two main dosages: in tablets with 10 or 25 mg of active medication in one tablet. At the same time, branded tablets with a dosage of 10 mg are round, biconvex, while tablets with a dosage of 25 mg are oval, biconvex. The engraving on the tablets also differs: tablets with a dosage of 10 mg are engraved S10 on one side, and tablets with a dosage of 25 mg are engraved S25.

Jardiance is used to treat type 2 diabetes. However, this medicine is not recommended for type 1 diabetes.

The branded Jardiance medications, which is produced by the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingerheim with headquarters in the German city of Ingelheim, has many generics, which are based, of course, on the same active ingredient, namely empagliflozin.

Jardiance is mainly used for controlling type 2 diabetes mellitus. The drug is recommended as monotherapy in patients with inadequate glycemic control (only with diet and exercise, for whom metformin administration is considered inappropriate due to intolerance), and also as combination therapy with other hypoglycemic agents , including insulin. The latter is possible in cases where the therapy used together with diet and exercise does not provide the necessary glycemic control.

Empagliflozin improves glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus by reducing renal glucose reabsorption. The amount of glucose that is excreted by the kidneys using this mechanism depends on the concentration of glucose in the blood and on the glomerular filtration rate. Inhibition of sodium-dependent glucose transporter type 2 in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes mellitus and hyperglycemia leads to the excretion of excess glucose by the kidneys.

After taking empagliflozin, regardless of which manufacturer produces the drug based on it, patients’ renal excretion of glucose increases immediately after the first dose of the drug, and the effect continues throughout the day. At the same time, an immediate decrease in plasma glucose concentration is observed. The concentration of glucose in the blood plasma when taking empagliflozin decreases both when taking the drug on an empty stomach and after eating. A significant advantage of empagliflozin therapy is that the mechanism of action of this drug does not depend on the functional state of pancreatic beta cells and insulin metabolism. This contributes to a low risk of possible hypoglycemia.

Jardiance Side Effects

Like most other drugs used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, Jardiance has a number of side effects. The most common adverse reaction is hypoglycemia, which occurs mainly when Jardiance or its generics are used in combination with sulfonylureas or insulin.

Among the side effects in patients with heart failure, hypovolemia is sometimes observed, that is, a decrease in the volume of circulating blood. In general, adverse reactions in patients receiving Jardiance can be classified as very common, common, uncommon, rare, and very rare.

Very common reactions include only hypoglycemia (when taken together with other anti-diabetic medications as mentioned above).

Common reactions include vaginal candidiasis, vulvovaginitis, balanitis and other conditions associated with disturbances in the microflora of the genitals, as well as urinary tract infections, itching, increased urination and increased thirst.

Infrequent reactions include dysuria and hypovolemia. The severity of this side effect, such as increased urination, in most cases is mild or moderate. Urinary tract infections occurring while taking empagliflozin are more common in patients with chronic and recurrent urinary tract infections. These conditions are more common in women.

Jardiance: Weight Loss

Because one of the effects of taking a medicine like Jardiance is weight loss, sometimes people take this medicine for weight loss even if they do not have diabetes or recommend it to others. In modern clinical practice, therapy for type 2 diabetes mellitus is aimed not only at achieving glycemic control, but also at influencing other modified risk factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases, including arterial hypertension, excess body weight and others. Therefore, in the context of diabetes treatment, weight loss associated with empagliflozin is a positive outcome.

BMJ Jornals reports that treatment with empagliflozin for 8 weeks in obese but nondiabetic patients markedly increases urinary glucose excretion and suppresses HFD-induced weight gain, insulin resistance, and hepatic steatosis. Notably, empagliflozin increases oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production, resulting in increased energy expenditure.
Expression of uncoupling protein 1 is increased in both brown and white adipose tissue of patients treated with empagliflozin. Finally, empagliflozin reduces the accumulation of M1-polarized macrophages while inducing an anti-inflammatory phenotype of M2 macrophages in WAT and liver, thereby attenuating obesity-associated chronic inflammation.
However, authorities such as the FDA do not recommend that non-diabetic patients take Jardiance for weight loss without consulting a doctor, who is likely to disapprove of such a strategy. This is because taking this medicine by non-diabetic patients leads to severe hypoglycemia. This is fraught with fainting and even hypoglycemic coma due to excessive excretion of glucose by the kidneys.

Jardiance Cost

A brand-name empagliflozin-based drug called Jardiance costs about $570 per month, provided that the patient does not have any health insurance that would cover such a drug for treating type 2 diabetes. However, this amount is approximate and is calculated without taking into account various additional markups, the amount of which depends on which specific pharmacy you purchase the medicine from. Of course, if the patient has health insurance, the cost of monthly treatment can be significantly reduced, up to 60%, and for those with Medicare Part D insurance, the monthly Jardiance price will be approximately $10 to $50. However, some patients, depending on the features of their insurance plan, will still pay about $170 per month. All this is strictly individual and depends on your personal insurance plan. As for generics, their cost is several times less than the cost of the prototype drug, even if they are practically no different from it. Thus, patients can often pay only $60 for a monthly set of pills.

As a rule, purchasing Jardiance online allows you to save up to 10% of the cost of even the original medicine, since owners of online pharmacies do not need to make such a large trade markup on drugs as retail ones, since they don’t need to maintain a large number of employees and beautifully decorated sales areas. These pharmacies are more like warehouses, all operations in which are carried out as automatically as possible and with a minimum number of workers.

Jardiance Generic

Generic Jardiance is manufactured by many different pharmaceutical companies located in many different countries around the world. Among them, Indian companies occupy the first place in terms of the volume of drugs produced and sold. Traditionally, their focus is on the production of generics of widely sought after drugs. Empagliflozin is no exception. Generic Jardiance may differ from the original German-made medicine in the shape, size and color of the tablets, although in general manufacturers strive for their products to be visually similar to the original drug. In terms of composition, medications differ in excipients that do not have any significant effect on the patient’s body. The release forms for generics and branded drugs are the same: these are tablets with a dosage of 10 mg and 25 mg.

Jardiance Generic Cost

Many patients choose not the original drug Jardiance, but its generics due to their significantly lower cost. Taking into account the fact that such drugs to combat diabetes are usually used for at least many months, if not several years, the issue of cost is more than relevant.

Purchasing Jardiance generics allows you to save up to 92% of the cost of the original medicine. Most analogues of the branded drug are available in online pharmacies with delivery from abroad from generic drug producing countries, such as India, Poland, Hungary, Canada and others, or with delivery from international online pharmacies. Buying a month’s supply of empagliflozin tablets from Indian manufacturers can cost between $55 and $65, that is, it costs 10 times less than the original German medicine.

Jardiance Coupon

Another way to save money when purchasing a medicine like jardiance is to use a discount coupon. Such coupons are usually provided by pharmacies, especially large online pharmacy chains that sell these drugs. Often, coupons are only offered to registered users or when certain conditions are met, such as purchasing a certain number of pills. Most often, regular customers of a pharmacy can use coupons. However, in addition to this, there are many aggregator sites that collect information about coupons for specific medications available in certain pharmacies. Coupons can save you up to half the cost of your medication. As a rule, they apply only to original drugs.

Another option worth considering is a special program from Boeringer Ingelheim, under which patients can pay as little as $10 for a one- to three-month supply of Jardiance tablets, provided the patient is eligible for the program. It is valid for 12 months, but after this period, if the patient still meets the necessary criteria, the savings card is automatically extended. This program is notable for the fact that it can be used by patients from any country in the world, provided that they buy Jardiance from online pharmacies that support this program.