With new diabetes medications seeming to hit the market constantly, it can make anyone’s head spin!
It can get even more tricky to keep all of the medications straight when you have several different types in the same drug class, which is the case with Farxiga and Jardiance.
While it can be helpful to compare these medications head-to-head, your healthcare provider will be able to help you choose which medication might be ideal for you, given your health history, as well as financial considerations.
In this article, we’ll directly compare Farxiga vs Jardiance, including their cost, potential side effects, potential benefits, and proven effectiveness.
What is Jardiance?
Jardiance is one of the brand names for the drug empagliflozin, a sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor.
SGLT2 inhibitor drugs are used to help treat type 2 diabetes by increasing the amount of glucose removed via your urine.
Jardiance’s primary method of action is to reduce the amount of glucose reabsorbed in your kidneys, helping to lower your blood sugar level.
Because Jardiance doesn’t stimulate the release of insulin like some diabetes medications do (specifically insulin and sulfonylureas), it doesn’t come with a risk of low blood sugar.
In a controlled clinical trial, only 0.4% of participants developed low blood sugar, which wasn’t considered severe.
Jardiance was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat type 2 diabetes in 2014. It was approved again for use to reduce cardiovascular death in people with type 2 diabetes in 2016, and most recently in 2021 to treat patients with heart failure.
Jardiance is an oral medication taken in either 10-milligram or 25-milligram dosages in the morning, with or without food. The manufacturer of Jardiance is Boehringer Ingelheim.
What is Farxiga?
Farxiga is the brand name for dapagliflozin, an oral medication used to treat type 2 diabetes. Other brand names can include Forxiga, among others. The manufacturer of Farxiga is AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.
Like Jardiance, Farxiga is an SGLT2 inhibitor and works by reducing the amount of glucose excreted in your urine.
Similar to Jardiance, Farxiga got its initial US FDA approval in 2014, followed by another approval in 2019 to help reduce the risk of hospitalization for heart failure among patients with type 2 diabetes, and yet again in 2021 to treat chronic kidney disease in patients with and without diabetes.
The typical starting dose for Farxiga is 5 milligrams daily, which can be increased to a maximum dose of 10 milligrams per day.
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Are Jardiance and Farxiga the same?
Jardiance and Farxiga are in the same medication class, but they aren’t the same. Jardiance’s drug name is empagliflozin and Farxiga’s drug name is dapagliflozin, so they have different active ingredients.
Because they are in the same medication class, Jardiance and Farxiga have similar side effects, risks, and methods of action.
Farxiga vs Jardiance
The below sections compare Farxiga vs Jardiance, including their effectiveness, uses, benefits, side effects and risks, and cost.
Farxiga has been shown to lower hemoglobin A1c levels by 0.5-0.7% and is effective when used on its own or in combination with other diabetes medications.
According to a study, Farxiga reduced the risk of cardiovascular death by 14% and reduced hospitalization for heart failure by 29%.
Yet another study showed that Farxiga resulted in an average weight loss of 1.3-2 kilograms (2.86-4.4 pounds) over 12 weeks compared to a placebo and a reduction in A1c of 0.55-0.90%
According to a meta-analysis of ten randomized control trials, participants taking Jardiance at 25 milligrams daily (the highest dose) had similar outcomes compared to metformin, one of the most popular oral medications for type 2 diabetes.
How much does Jardiance lower blood sugar?
According to that meta-analysis, average reductions in A1c when taking Jardiance were around 0.65%, while another study cited a range in A1c reduction between 0.59-0.82% from taking Jardiance.
(You might develop low blood sugar if you’re taking Jardiance along with insulin or a sulfonylurea.)
Jardiance might also help you lose weight, which can further help lower blood sugar levels. It also appears to have beneficial effects on blood pressure levels, which is a benefit considering many people with diabetes are at greater risk of having high blood pressure or heart disease.
According to a review of studies, participants taking Jardiance lost a “significant” amount of weight compared to the placebo; the amount of weight loss ranged from 1.7-1.9 kilograms (3.74-4.18 pounds).
- Can be used in people aged 18 and older.
- Can be used as a single therapy to treat diabetes if metformin isn’t tolerated, as well as an add-on therapy (taking Farxiga in addition to another medication you’ve already been taking).
- Not meant to treat diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and might cause DKA in rare cases. (DKA causes very high blood sugar levels and is due to insulin deficiency). Since Farxiga doesn’t increase insulin levels, it isn’t meant to treat DKA or type 1 diabetes.
- May help slow the progression of chronic kidney disease, a disease that is often caused by uncontrolled blood sugar (received FDA approval for this in 2021).
- Can help reduce hospitalization in patients with heart failure (FDA approval for this in 2019).
- Farxiga shouldn’t be taken by pregnant women or those who plan to become pregnant.
- It’s unknown if Farxiga is passed into breastmilk, so nursing mothers should exercise caution and avoid Farxiga if possible while breastfeeding.
- Meant to be used in people aged 18 and older; no safety data exists for people younger than 18.
- Category C medication for pregnancy and should be avoided during the second and third trimesters when fetal kidney development is occurring.
- Approved to reduce cardiovascular death (heart attack and stroke) in patients with type 2 diabetes, as well as treating patients with heart failure.
- Like Farxiga, Jardiance isn’t recommended during breastfeeding due to the potential negative impacts it might have on the nursing baby.
- Not meant to treat type 1 diabetes/DKA (similar to Farxiga).
- Both medications can lower blood pressure and can cause modest weight loss.
- Farxiga and Jardiance can be used on their own or in combination with other medications. If they are used with medications that can cause low blood sugar, then the risk of low blood sugar might be higher when taking Farxiga or Jardiance.
- Farxiga is also approved to treat chronic kidney disease and heart failure.
- Jardiance is also approved to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death and also treat heart failure.
- Both medications are oral, which are preferred over injectable medications like most GLP-1 receptor agonists and insulin.
- Low risk of hypoglycemia when used on their own.
Side effects and risks
Jardiance side effects and risks
Some of the potential side effects and risks from taking Jardiance include:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs) which may lead to kidney infections
- Dehydration which may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and weakness
- Yeast infections (also called genital mycotic infections).
- Low blood sugar, especially if you’re taking other diabetes medications
- Upper respiratory tract infections
- Increased urination
- Thirst due to dehydration
- Low blood pressure
- In rare cases, some people taking Jardiance developed necrotizing fasciitis (damaging skin of the perineum) from a bacterial infection
Farxiga side effects and risks
The most commonly reported side effects of Farxiga are:
- Yeast infections of the vagina or penis (due to increased sugar content of urine)
- Changes in urination, including the urgent need to urinate more often, in larger amounts, or at night.
- Stuffy or runny nose and sore throat.
Some rare but potential side effects from taking Farxiga include:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs) – increasing the sugar content of your urine (how Farxiga helps to lower blood sugar) can increase the risk of UTIs. Left untreated, UTIs can develop into kidney infections.
- In rare cases, some people taking Farxiga developed necrotizing fasciitis (damaging skin of the perineum) from a bacterial infection.
Which medication is cheaper?
Farxiga is slightly cheaper than Jardiance, but not by much. According to GoodRx at the time this article was written, here are the estimated costs for both medications when paid out of pocket:
A 30-day supply of 10-milligram tablets (the highest dose): around $550 USD (approx. $18 per pill)
A 30-day supply of 25-milligram tablets (the highest dose): around $580 USD (approx. $19 per pill)
Your price for Jardiance or Farxiga will likely be much different if you have prescription drug and/or health insurance.
If Farxiga or Jardiance are preferred medications through your healthcare plan, then there will usually be an obvious difference in the cost to you.
There are no generic alternatives for Farxiga or Jardiance, which means their cost is higher than if a generic version was approved.
Can you take Farxiga and Jardiance together?
Farxiga and Jardiance aren’t meant to be taken together since they are the same type of medication, just with different active ingredients.
Taking Farxiga and Jardiance together could increase the risk of side effects, which could be more severe given the increased amount of SGLT2 drugs in your system.
Visual comparison of Farxiga vs Jardiance
|Farxiga (dapagliflozin)||Jardiance (empagliflozin)|
|Dosage||5-10 mg daily||10-25 mg daily|
|Medication type||SGLT2 inhibitor||SGLT2 inhibitor|
|Cost||~$18 USD per 10 mg tablet||~$19 USD per 25 mg tablet|
|Pregnancy||Not recommended||Not recommended|
|Breastfeeding||Not recommended||Not recommended|
|Approved to treat heart failure||Yes||Yes|
|Approved to reduce CV death||No||Yes|
|Approved to treat CKD||Yes||No|
This article compared Farxiga vs Jardiance. Farxiga is the brand name for dapagliflozin, and Jardiance is the brand name for empagliflozin.
Both medications are SGLT2 inhibitors, which work to lower blood sugar levels by increasing the amount of sugar excreted in your urine (reducing the amount of sugar absorbed by your kidneys).
Both medications can have a favorable impact on blood pressure levels by reducing the amount of sodium in your body.
In addition to being approved to treat type 2 diabetes, Farxiga is approved to treat chronic kidney disease and heart failure, and Jardiance is approved to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death and heart failure.
The costs for Farxiga vs Jardiance are very similar but can vary depending on your prescription or medical coverage.
Both medications have similar side effects and risks, which are commonly related to changes in urinary patterns, urinary tract infections, and fluid changes that can result in dizziness.