Jardiance is a prescription drug used to treat type 2 diabetes.
As with any medication, there are potential side effects that can occur and one of the most common side effects of Jardiance is a yeast infection.
In this article, we will discuss how Jardiance works, why Jardiance causes yeast infections, and whether both men and women can get a yeast infection while taking it.
We will also explore a variety of ways to prevent yeast infections from occurring while you take Jardiance to help treat your diabetes.
What is Jardiance?
Jardiance is a type of diabetes treatment known as an SGLT-2 inhibitor and it is used to treat type 2 diabetes. When you have diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, your blood sugar levels are too high.
Type 2 diabetes raises your blood sugar levels when your cells become insulin resistant.
Your body typically gets energy by converting any food or drink you ingest into glucose, also called blood sugar.
The glucose is then absorbed into your bloodstream where it is used by your cells for energy.
The cells in your body need the hormone insulin in order to process glucose and when they become insulin resistant your blood glucose levels rise which leads to type 2 diabetes.
Jardiance works by inhibiting the SGLT-2 transporter proteins which are responsible for reabsorbing glucose back into your bloodstream and it causes more glucose to be excreted in your urine and lowers your blood sugar levels allowing you to have more glycemic control.
Note that type 1 diabetes can not be treated with Jardiance; however, Jardiance also has U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for preventing cardiovascular death if you have cardiovascular disease and lowering your risk of hospitalization for heart failure and heart disease if you also have type 2 diabetes.
Normally Jardiance is administered by an oral tablet once a day with or without food and can be taken with certain other diabetes medications.
Empagliflozin which is only sold under the brand name Jardiance is manufactured by the pharmaceutical companies Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly and Company and there are no generic forms currently available.
What are the most common side effects of Jardiance?
There are two adverse effects of taking Jardiance that occur more often than others and these two most common side effects include:
Urinary tract infection (UTI)
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a medical condition that is caused by a bacterial infection that can occur in any part of your urinary system, including your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.
A urinary tract infection happens when bacteria enter your urinary tract through your urethra and begin to multiply in your bladder.
The symptoms of a urinary tract infection include:
- A burning sensation while you urinate
- Frequent urination
- Feeling the need to urinate often
- Pelvic pain
- Bloody urine
If you experience these symptoms please see your doctor or health care provider for treatment.
Genital yeast infection
A genital yeast infection is a fungal infection that can occur in both men and women and it is another one of the most common side effects of taking Jardiance and other SGLT- 2 inhibitors like canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga), and ertugliflozin (Steglatro).
It is not likely that you will develop a genital yeast infection if you take this diabetes drug but your risk is higher when taking Jardiance.
Yeast infections usually have mild symptoms and are easily treated and you will most likely not have to stop using Jardiance.
The symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection (vulvovaginitis or candidiasis) in women include:
- Itching or burning in your vagina and vulva
- Redness on your vulva
- Swelling of your vulva
- Vaginal white discharge that may be thick and look like cottage cheese
- Vaginal odor
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Vaginal pain or burning while urinating
The symptoms of a genital yeast infection in men (balanitis or balanoposthitis) include:
- Redness on your penis
- Swelling of your penis
- A rash or sores on your penis
- Swelling around your genitals
- A foul-smelling discharge coming from your penis
- Pain and tenderness around your genitals
- Shiny skin on the head of your penis
- Inability to urinate
- Pain or burning sensation when you urinate
- If you are uncircumcised you are more likely to get balanitis, which is when the foreskin and head of your penis become inflamed and it may be difficult to pull back your foreskin from the head of your penis
Both men and women have an increased chance of genital yeast infections although it is more common in women and you are more likely to get it if you have a history of yeast infections.
If you experience any of these symptoms please seek medical attention from your doctor or health care provider.
Who needs to avoid taking Jardiance?
Jardiance does have certain drug interactions and complications that need to be avoided if you take it.
You need to avoid taking Jardiance or any other SGLT-2 inhibitors if you:
- Have severe kidney problems, kidney damage, chronic kidney disease, or are on dialysis
- Have hypotension which is also known as low blood pressure
- Are taking diuretics, also called water pills, which are medications that make you urinate more frequently to cause the loss of body water
- Have an allergic reaction to Jardiance
- Have a history of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) which is a serious medical condition that can happen if your blood becomes too acidic and is a medical emergency that needs immediate medical attention at your nearest hospital emergency room or by calling 911
- Have a recurring yeast infection
- Have a recurring urinary tract infection
- Take medications that increase your risk for hypoglycemia, also called low blood sugar
- Have high low-density lipid (LDL) levels which is the “bad” cholesterol
Drink alcohol in moderation while taking Jardiance as alcohol increases your risk of dehydration and ketoacidosis while also causing you to urinate more frequently.
If you are pregnant, it is not recommended to take Jardiance in your second or third trimester.
It is also not recommended to take Jardiance while breastfeeding as there are not enough clinical studies to know if Jardiance is passed to your breast milk.
As with any medication, disclose all medical conditions and medications you are taking to your doctor before you start taking Jardiance.
Why does Jardiance cause yeast infections?
The main reason Jardiance and other SGLT-2 inhibitors can cause genital yeast infections is because when these drugs work to lower your blood sugar levels, it does so by excreting any excess glucose out through your urinary tract in your urine.
The increased levels of glucose in your urine are called glycosuria and it can create an environment that is more conducive for mycotic infections, which are caused by fungal yeast, to grow in your urinary tract.
They can also be caused by poor hygiene.
What are the treatment options for genital yeast infections?
The good news is that if you develop a genital yeast infection while taking Jardiance, it can be treated fairly easily with antifungal medicine.
These are typically available as over-the-counter medications although prescription medicine is available if necessary. It is available in the form of creams, ointments, tablets, and suppositories that you insert into your vagina and they combat the yeast, which is called Candida albicans, that causes yeast infections.
Many of these treatments are available over-the-counter at your local pharmacy or grocery store as topical treatments and usually involve azole treatments such as clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex), miconazole (Monistat 3), and terconazole (Terazol).
If you have severe or chronic yeast infections, your doctor may also prescribe medications such as fluconazole (Diflucan) to help treat your yeast infection too.
Lastly, your doctor may also decide to switch your medication to help prevent future yeast infections.
If you have never had a yeast infection before, it is important that you see your doctor or health care provider for medical advice to make sure that is what you are experiencing.
How can I prevent Jardiance-related genital yeast infections?
The best way to avoid getting a genital yeast infection while taking Jardiance is to practice good hygiene.
Examples of ways to prevent yeast infections include:
- Washing your genitals with warm water and mild soap every day and remember to dry thoroughly before dressing
- Avoiding tight-fitting underwear, pants, pantyhose, or jeans as they can trap moisture and heat against your skin which can lead to more yeast growth
- Changing out of wet swimsuits or sweaty workout clothes as soon as possible
- Avoiding douching and scented sanitary products
- Remembering to regularly change your tampon or other sanitary products
- Avoiding condoms that contain spermicide as they can irritate current yeast infections
- Not taking other medications that can increase your chance of yeast infection such as some antibiotics for viral infections
- Avoiding hot tubs
- Avoiding taking very hot baths
- Avoiding sexual contact with your partner if either of you has a yeast infection as you can pass the yeast infection back and forth
If you are experiencing any symptoms of a genital yeast infection, it is important that you see your doctor or health care provider so he or she can properly diagnose and develop a treatment plan.
Jardiance is a medication used to treat type 2 diabetes and it can cause genital yeast infections in both men and women.
The main reason Jardiance and other SGLT-2 inhibitors can cause genital yeast infections is because when these drugs work to lower your blood sugar levels, it does so by excreting any excess glucose out through your urinary tract in your urine and the yeast are attracted to the excess sugar.
If you develop a genital yeast infection while taking Jardiance, it can be treated fairly easily with over-the-counter antifungal medications that are available in various forms from your local pharmacy and your doctor can prescribe antifungal medications if your symptoms are severe or recurring.
You can also prevent Jardiance-related genital yeast infections by practicing good hygiene which can be accomplished by following the list above.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of a genital yeast infection or have any more questions, please talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
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