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Jardiance for Weight Loss: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Efficacy
Medically reviewed by
Millions of Americans are overweight and searching for a quick solution to shed the pounds. Unfortunately, there is a magic solution for weight loss and achieving lasting results will always require lifestyle changes. These lifestyle changes quickly come to the forefront when an individual is diagnosed with a life-altering condition like diabetes or heart disease. As both of these conditions are linked to obesity, it is important to understand that losing even a small amount of weight can make a big difference when it comes to your overall health. Because of this, many people are seeking medications to manage their health conditions that may also help with moderate weight loss. Jardiance, for instance, is a popular medication that offers the added benefit of helping type 2 diabetes and heart disease patients lose weight while also treating the primary conditions at hand.
Jardiance is an oral, prescription medication that is prescribed by doctors for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It is also prescribed to those with type 2 diabetes and heart disease to reduce the risk of death from a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke. It is part of the class of medications known as sodium-glucose transport protein 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. Other brand name medications within this class that serve a similar purpose include Farxiga, Steglatro and Invokana. All of these medications have begun to rise in popularity over the last decade and are being prescribed more frequently to aid in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. With 11.3% of the entire U.S. population being affected by diabetes, these medications are crucial for allowing these patients to live a normal life.
When a person without diabetes consumes a meal, their blood sugar rises. In response to this event, the pancreas releases a peptide hormone known as insulin. Insulin is responsible for absorbing these sugars (or glucose) from the blood and transferring them into cells. In turn, this reduces a person’s blood sugar to a normal level. A person with type 2 diabetes; however, struggles to produce enough insulin for the glucose to be absorbed from the blood. Without effective insulin levels to absorb and transfer it to other cells, the glucose instead remains in the blood. This is known as hyperglycemia and it can cause severe problems, including coma, visual impairments, dizziness, fainting, exhaustion and in extreme cases, death. This affects the quality of life of a person with type 2 diabetes and when left untreated for an extended period of time can lead to severe damage.
After Jardiance is taken, It blocks reabsorption of sugar in the kidneys allowing it to be excreted through the urine, thus reducing blood sugars. Jardiance is also effective in preventing those with diabetes and heart disease from suffering certain cardiovascular events. It is believed that this is because the medication makes it easier for the heart to function properly through multiple mechanisms of action. Essentially, the heart can pump blood to the entire body with less effort than without the addition of Jardiance. This provides relief and allows the patient to avoid extreme situations like heart attacks from occurring due to added stress on the heart.
In addition to these uses, Jardiance is also able to help those who take it achieve and maintain a healthier weight. Because the sugar that is consumed exits the body through urination, it can significantly decrease the person’s daily caloric intake. Like other diabetes medications, it is also helpful for helping patients to feel fuller longer after eating and may also decrease cravings.
While it can be tempting to want to achieve these results by taking Jardiance for weight loss, it is not intended as a weight loss drug. This is because the side effects and potential risks of taking the medication without type 2 diabetes are too high for the meager results that it produces in terms of weight loss alone. It is also important to note that for type 2 diabetes patients to achieve weight loss results with Jardiance, a healthy diet and exercise are crucial.
Dosage and Prescribing Information
Jardiance is distributed by pharmacists in tablet form. Those who are just starting to take the medication will begin with a prescription of 10mg and may work their way up to 25 mg if the minimum dosage fails to adequately regulate blood sugar levels. Unlike some medications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, Jardiance can be taken with or without food in the morning. It may also be used in conjunction with other medications when approved by a doctor and evaluated for serious drug interactions.
Jardiance is intended for use by adults ages 18 and older who are struggling to regulate their blood sugar levels due to type 2 diabetes. It is not prescribed for the treatment of type 1 diabetes and should not be used by those who have certain conditions, such as kidney disease. It is also not recommended for people who are allergic to certain ingredients found in Jardiance, those who struggle with alcoholism or those who follow a low-salt diet, or those who take diuretics. This is because Jardiance causes increased urination, which can lead to dehydration or extremely low blood pressure rates in these patients.
Before a doctor prescribes Jardiance, they will carefully evaluate your medical history, any other medications you are taking, and information regarding your history with type 2 diabetes. If they decide that it may be helpful, they will start with the lowest dose of Jardiance (10mg) and together, you and your doctor will evaluate if the medication is working properly. If proper results are achieved at this dosage, there is no need to move to a higher dosage of Jardiance.
Side Effects and Other Warnings
As is the case with most medications, those who take Jardiance are at risk of experiencing side effects. Generally, side effects are mild and subside as the body grows accustomed to the medication within several days or weeks. If a patient misses a dose or has their dosage changed, these side effects may re-emerge even if they have previously subsided. Despite this, side effects of Jardiance are typically mild and do not require any intervention. Some of the most common side effects of Jardiance include:
Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Upper respiratory infections
Low blood pressure
While these side effects are common and typically disappear without any need to intervene, be sure to mention any lingering or bothersome problems that you have after taking the medication to your healthcare provider. Although it is rare, there is a small possibility that a person taking Jardiance could experience more serious side effects, such as an allergic reaction or other serious medical problems. If you experience any of the following side effects while taking Jardiance, call your doctor or get to a medical care provider as soon as possible:
Pains in the stomach
Infection of the perineum
In addition to these potential side effects, those who are taking Jardiance should also consider the warnings that are issued along with the medication. Jardiance is not intended for use by those who are younger than 18 years old or over the age of 65. Likewise, the medication should not be used by pregnant women, especially in the second or third trimesters of pregnancy as this may cause serious harm to the fetus. The active medication in Jardiance is also passed through breast milk so breastfeeding mothers should not take this medication to control their diabetes or to lose weight. Instead, they should speak with a doctor about safer options.
Beyond these warnings, those with certain conditions should avoid taking Jardiance for any reason unless recommended by a doctor. Some of these conditions include alcoholism, pancreatic problems, bladder or urinary problems, or liver and kidney disease. Patients should avoid drinking alcohol while taking Jardiance as it affects the drug's ability to perform adequately. If you have any concerns regarding potential side effects or warnings, be sure to address them with your doctor before you begin taking the medication.
Efficacy of Jardiance for Weight Loss
As with all prescription medications, it is mandatory for many studies to be conducted on the efficacy of Jardiance. First and foremost, Jardiance is most effective for its ability to help those with type 2 diabetes to control and manage their blood sugar levels. In recent studies, patients who took Jardiance, maintained a healthy diet and exercised regularly were able to reduce their A1C levels to less than 7% over the course of 24 weeks. Additionally, fasting blood sugar levels dropped significantly with the same terms by around 19 to 25 points.
For heart disease death, studies have shown that Jardiance reduces the risk of cardiovascular death by a whopping 38%. According to the American Diabetes Association, two out of every three people with diabetes die due to complications of heart disease or stroke. This is shocking, as many would believe the cause of death in these patients to be more closely related to their diabetes diagnosis. The mechanism of action that is responsible for this level of success is still being studied and is not completely understood. Despite this, it makes Jardiance the first drug to significantly reduce the risk level of high-risk patients that have been diagnosed with both heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
When it comes to weight loss, it appears to be a side effect of the medication for some individuals with type 2 diabetes. In clinical studies and trials, those who took Jardiance for a period of around six months were able to lose approximately 2-3% of their body weight. This has garnered attention from those outside of the type 2 diabetes community with questions about introducing Jardiance as a weight loss drug for obese or overweight but otherwise healthy individuals. According to most resources, the weight loss results simply do not outweigh all of the risks and expenses associated with the medication.
Jardiance comes along with severe side effects and the potential to affect blood sugar and blood pressure in individuals with previously healthy levels. This poses a significant risk for the small amount of weight loss experienced. Likewise, to obtain these weight loss results, it is still necessary to follow a healthy diet and get adequate exercise. Paired with the high cost of Jardiance, it appears best suited to remain as a treatment for those with type 2 diabetes and heart disease rather than a weight loss pill for the masses.
Nu Image Medical has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.