Steglatro (Ertugliflozin) – Oral

What Is Steglatro?

Steglatro (ertugliflozin) is an oral prescription medication used along with proper diet and exercise to help improve blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Steglatro belongs to a class of medications called sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors.

Steglatro works in the kidneys to help remove excess sugar from the bloodstream. It causes your body to eliminate the extra sugar when you urinate.

This medication comes as a tablet that you take by mouth.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Ertugliflozin

Brand Name(s): Steglatro

Drug Availability: Prescription

Administration Route: Oral

Therapeutic Classification: Hypoglycemic, SGLT inhibitor

Available Generically: No

Controlled Substance: N/A

Active Ingredient: Ertugliflozin

Dosage Form(s): Tablet

What Is Steglatro Used For?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Steglatro to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes. It is used in conjunction with diet and exercise. It is not for use in people with type 1 diabetes.

How to Take Steglatro

Take Steglatro once a day in the morning or as directed by your healthcare provider. You can take it with or without food.

Storage

Store the tablets at room temperature (68–77 degrees Fahrenheit) in a dry place, away from moisture. Do not store them in the bathroom. Keep Steglatro and all medications away from children and pets.

How Long Does Steglatro Take to Work?

Steglatro starts working to lower blood sugar within an hour after you take a dose. It may take a few months to see an improvement in your hemoglobin A1C, also known as HbA1C. A1C is a blood test that your healthcare provider will use to check your average blood sugar level.

What Are the Side Effects of Steglatro?

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or a healthcare provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects of Steglatro are:

Severe Side Effects

Serious side effects may rarely occur when taking Steglatro. Call your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of the severe side effects listed below. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or you think you have a medical emergency.

Severe side effects and their symptoms may include:

  • Ketoacidosis: Increased thirst, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, difficulty thinking clearly/confusion, fruity breath odor, high blood sugar
  • Dehydration: Dry mouth, dizziness, light-headedness, feeling weak, low blood pressure
  • Hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar): Dizziness, tremor, headache, hunger, irritability, fainting
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI): Increased urination with little output, burning or stinging during urination
  • Necrotizing fasciitis (soft tissue infection) of the perineum (area between the anus and scrotum or vulva): Pain, tenderness, redness, or swelling in the perineum along with a fever or overall feeling of weakness 
  • Yeast infections of the vagina or penis: Itching, sometimes accompanied by discharge
  • Angioedema: A serious allergic reaction that causes swelling mainly in the face, tongue, lips, or throat

Long-Term Side Effects

Some reports have indicated that Steglatro and other SGLT2 inhibitors may be associated with an increased risk of lower leg amputation. However, an extensive review of clinical trial data did not find evidence to confirm this risk.

Remember that uncontrolled type 2 diabetes can lead to a severe foot infection, which raises the risk of needing an amputation. Checking your feet every day and taking your diabetes medicines regularly may help to reduce the chance of this potential long-term side effect.

Report Side Effects

Steglatro may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your healthcare provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).

Dosage: How Much Steglatro Should I Take?

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The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For type 2 diabetes:
      • Adults—At first, 5 milligrams (mg) once a day, taken in the morning. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and tolerated. However, the dose is usually not more than 15 mg once a day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of Steglatro, take it as soon as you remember. If it's almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not double up your next dose to make up for the missed one.

Overdose: What Happens If I Take Too Much Steglatro?

If you take too much Steglatro, contact a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center.

What Happens if I Overdose on Steglatro?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Steglatro, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).

If someone collapses or isn't breathing after taking Steglatro, call 911 immediately.

Precautions

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It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits, especially during the first few weeks that you take this medicine. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine during the second and later part of a pregnancy can harm your unborn baby. If you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.

It is very important to follow carefully any instructions from your doctor about:

  • Alcohol—Drinking alcohol may cause severe high blood sugar. Discuss this with your doctor.
  • Other medicines—Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This especially includes nonprescription medicines such as aspirin, and medicines for appetite control, asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems.
  • Counseling—Other family members need to learn how to prevent side effects or help with side effects if they occur. Also, patients with diabetes may need special counseling about the changes in the dosing of their diabetes medicine that might occur because of lifestyle changes, such as changes in exercise and diet. Furthermore, counseling on contraception and pregnancy may be needed because of the problems that can occur in patients with diabetes during pregnancy.
  • Travel—Keep a recent prescription and your medical history with you. Be prepared for an emergency as you would normally. Make allowances for changing time zones and keep your meal times as close as possible to your usual meal times.
  • In case of emergency—There may be a time when you need emergency help for a problem caused by your diabetes. You need to be prepared for these emergencies. It is a good idea to wear a medical identification (ID) bracelet or neck chain at all times. Also, carry an ID card in your wallet or purse that says that you have diabetes and a list of all of your medicines.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur with this medicine. This is more common if you have kidney disease, low blood pressure, or if you are taking a diuretic (water pill). Drinking plenty of fluids each day may help. Drink plenty of water during exercise or in hot weather. Check with your doctor if you have severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea that does not stop. This may cause you to lose too much water.

Ketoacidosis (high ketones and acid in the blood) may occur while you are using this medicine. This can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Your doctor may give you insulin, fluid, and carbohydrate replacement to treat this condition. Tell your doctor right away if you have nausea, vomiting, trouble breathing, increased thirst or urination.

Check with your doctor right away if you have bloody urine, decrease in how much or how often you urinate, an increase in blood pressure, increased thirst, loss of appetite, lower back or side pain, nausea, swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs, trouble breathing, unusual tiredness or weakness, vomiting, or weight gain. These could be symptoms of a serious kidney problem.

This medicine may increase your risk of having urinary tract infections, including pyelonephritis or urosepsis. Check with your doctor right away if you have bladder pain, bloody or cloudy urine, difficult, burning, or painful urination, or lower back or side pain.

This medicine may increase your risk of having lower leg or toe amputation (leg removal surgery). Check with your doctor right away if you have pain, tenderness, sores or ulcers, or infections on your leg or foot.

This medicine may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This is more common when this medicine is taken together with other diabetes medicines (eg, insulin, glipizide, or glyburide). Low blood sugar must be treated before it causes you to pass out (unconsciousness). People feel different symptoms of low blood sugar. It is important that you learn which symptoms you usually have so you can treat it quickly. Some symptoms of low blood sugar include: behavior changes that are similar to being drunk, blurred vision, cold sweats, confusion, cool, pale skin, difficulty with thinking, drowsiness, excessive hunger, a fast heartbeat, headaches that continue, nausea, shakiness, slurred speech, or unusual tiredness or weakness. Talk to your doctor about how to treat low blood sugar.

Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) may occur if you do not take enough or skip a dose of your diabetes medicine, overeat or do not follow your diet plan, have a fever or infection, or do not exercise as much as usual. Some symptoms of high blood sugar include blurred vision, drowsiness, dry mouth, flushed and dry skin, a fruit-like breath odor, increased frequency and amount of urination, ketones in the urine, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, rapid and deep breathing, tiredness, or unusual thirst. If symptoms of high blood sugar occur, check your blood sugar level and call your doctor for instructions.

This medicine may cause vaginal yeast infections in women and yeast infections of the penis in men. This is more common in patients who have a history of genital yeast infections or in men who are not circumcised. Women may have a vaginal discharge, itching, or odor. Men may have redness, itching, swelling, or pain around the penis, or a discharge with a strong odor from the penis. Check with your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms.

This medicine may cause a rare but serious bacterial infection, called necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum or Fournier's gangrene, which can cause damage to the tissue under the skin in the area between and around the anus and genitals (perineum). Fournier's gangrene may lead to hospitalization, multiple surgeries, or death. Check with your doctor right away if you have fever, unusual tiredness or weakness, or pain, tenderness, redness, or swelling of the area between and around your anus and genitals.

Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests (eg, urine glucose tests may not be accurate).

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

What Are Reasons I Shouldn’t Take Steglatro?

You should not take Steglatro if you:

  • Are allergic to ertugliflozin or any other ingredient of Steglatro
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Are on dialysis
  • Have type 1 diabetes

What Other Medications Interact With Steglatro?

Steglatro can interact with some medications. Before taking Steglatro, make sure to give a list of all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications, vitamins, and supplement products to your healthcare provider.

Some diabetes medications may increase the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) with Steglatro. Your healthcare provider may adjust the dose of your medication or have you monitor your blood sugar more often to help prevent low blood sugar. Some examples include: 

Taking Steglatro may cause a positive result on a urine glucose test. If you have to give a urine sample, be sure to tell the medical provider that you're taking Steglatro.

What Medications Are Similar?

Medications that may be prescribed as alternatives to Steglatro include:

These three medications are also SGLT2 inhibitors. However, unlike Steglatro, the medications listed above are also FDA-approved to lower the risk of cardiovascular events (such as heart attack) in people with type 2 diabetes and heart disease. They can also decrease hospitalization due to heart failure.

Several other types of drugs are also used to manage type 2 diabetes. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are seeking a different treatment option.

This is a list of drugs also prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes that work the same way as Steglatro. It is not a list of drugs to take with Steglatro. Discuss any questions with your pharmacist or healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I take Steglatro if I’m taking insulin?

    Yes, your healthcare provider may prescribe insulin and Steglatro together. If you take both, you may be at greater risk of your blood sugar dropping too low. Make sure to monitor your blood sugar closely.

  • How does Steglatro work?

    Like other SGLT2 inhibitors, Steglatro lowers blood sugar by working in the kidneys. It prevents sugar from reabsorbing into the blood. Instead, the excess sugar is eliminated when you urinate.

  • Will Steglatro help me lose weight?

    Some people experience weight loss while taking Steglatro. However, it is not meant to be a weight-loss drug. Following a healthy diet and exercising regularly while taking this medication can also help with weight loss. If you are obese or overweight, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent health-related complications. Make sure to talk to a healthcare provider about how to safely achieve a healthy weight and what that might look like for you.

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Steglatro?

There are other things you can do to stay healthy while taking Steglatro. Physical activity and a balanced diet (low in carbohydrates) are essential strategies for keeping your blood sugar within a target range. It is important to check your legs and feet for sores or ulcers daily. If you develop sores or ulcers, see your healthcare provider immediately.

It is sometimes stressful to manage a chronic condition like type 2 diabetes. You have to monitor your blood sugar, watch what you eat, and keep track of medical appointments. Yet, it is worth it to lower your risk of diabetes complications. Finding an online community or support group can also help you feel connected to others facing the same challenges.

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare provider. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Nguyen VK, White JR Jr. Overview of ertugliflozin. Clin Diabetes. 2019;37(2):176-178. doi:10.2337/cd18-0097

  2. Food and Drug Administration. Steglatro label.

  3. Heyward J, Mansour O, Olson L, Singh S, Alexander GC. Association between sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors and lower extremity amputation: A systematic review and meta-analysisPLoS One. 2020;15(6):e0234065. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0234065

  4. Williams DM, Jones H, Stephens JW. Personalized type 2 diabetes management: an update on recent advances and recommendations. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2022;15:281-295. doi:10.2147/DMSO.S331654

By Patricia Weiser, PharmD
Patricia Weiser, PharmD, is a licensed pharmacist and freelance medical writer. She has more than 14 years of professional experience.