Are you diabetic? Did you hear about the medication empagliflozin???
What is empagliflozin?
It is a medication for the treatment of the second type of diabetes mellitus (DM) by reducing the level of glucose in the blood.
It comes in packs in the form of tablets with either of the doses 10 and 25 mg. The dose can be taken with or without a meal.
Usually, the patient will start with 10 mg once daily that may be increased or modifies later on under the physician’s supervision.
Indication of empagliflozin
- Type 2 DM, but the patient should keep on physical exercise and diet control for better adjustment of the glucose level.
- Lowering the risk of heart diseases and stroke in diabetic patients.
- It helps to reduce body weight because of the loss of calories (glucose).
Mechanism of action
Its site of action is the kidneys where empagliflozin promotes excretion of glucose from the blood to urine, thus reducing its blood level.
Side effect of empagliflozin
The most common side effects of empagliflozin are:
- The infection such as infection of the urinary passages, male and female genital infection.
- Abnormal blood fats such as increased cholesterol.
- Increased thirsty and desire to drink.
- Peeing too much and manifestations of dehydration.
Less common side effects such as:
- Allergic reactions may be as mild such as rash and itching or sever like shock and angioedema.
- Increased blood acidity which leads to complaints such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and difficult breathing.
- Sever pyogenic infection of the kidneys and urinary tract.
- The sensation of weakness and tiredness.
- Lowering the blood glucose level especially if the patient is taking insulin or another antidiabetic drug.
Contraindication and Precautions of empagliflozin
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus.
- Renal impairment and renal failure.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis.
- Patients with liver disease should inform their physicians.
- Cancer of the urinary bladder.
- Patients receiving oral medications high blood pressure should tell the doctor.
- Known allergy to the medication.
- Lactating and pregnant females.
- Patients who are older than 65 years.
- Cardiac disease.
The dose should be modified in cases of renal impairment, sure, under the physician’s instructions.
It is not suitable for cases of diabetes mellitus type 1, unless used in combination with insulin.
Pregnant and lactating females should better avoid using empagliflozin because studies on animals didn’t proof it is harmful to babies, but it is not recommended for the sake of the mother.
Empagliflozin should be stored at room temperature and away from the reach of children.
If a patient took an overdose, he should contact the poison center immediately.
With insulin and oral antidiabetic medications for instance metformin, because they can lead to very low glucose levels.
The patient can take the dose if the next one will be after 12 hours or more if otherwise, skip this dose.