Last updated on July 20th, 2023
Farxiga is a prescription drug for managing blood sugar levels. It does not involve the hormone or insulin in controlling diabetes. Therefore, it is different from the other anti-diabetes medicines. It prevents the reabsorption of body glucose by the kidneys to lower your blood sugar levels. Farxiga is an effective diabetes medicine. The dark side of Farxiga is that it easily interacts with some medications and has some side effects also. However, you can avoid the side effects after discussing your health condition and the medicines you take with your doctor. Read this article to know about Farxiga uses, side effects, dosage, interactions, faq’s and warnings.
These days, it is easy to manage diabetes. There are many diabetes health care centres and diabetes care programs. They guide diabetes patients to live healthy lives. There is a need to maintain a balance between your diet and exercise routine to manage diabetes. Along with this, many diabetes medications are there in the market that helps in managing diabetes. Diabetes medicines are prescription medicines. One of them is Farxiga and, before starting, you need to know everything about it.
What is Farxiga?
Farxiga is a prescription medicine that helps manage the blood sugar levels in people with diabetes type-2. It works well in combination with diet and exercise. Farxiga also helps in lowering the risk of heart problems due to diabetes type-2 in adults. It also reduces the risk of kidney problems, death due to cardiovascular disease, and heart failure due to chronic kidney disease. Farxiga is a sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor.
Description of Farxiga
Farxiga is a film-coated prescription drug for oral administration. It contains 5 mg or 10 mg of dapagliflozin in the form of dapagliflozin propanediol. The other inactive ingredients of this medicine are anhydrous lactose, silicon dioxide, microcrystalline cellulose, crospovidone, and magnesium stearate. The film coating of Farxiga contains titanium dioxide, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, polyethylene glycol, and yellow iron oxide as inactive ingredients.
Working of Farxiga
Farxiga manages the blood sugar levels differently than the other diabetes medications. It does not involve the hormone insulin to lower blood sugar levels. It prevents the kidneys from reabsorbing blood sugar. Farxiga also allows the removal of excess blood sugar through urine. Farxiga helps in slowing down or restricting the production of a protein, SGLT2. SGLT2 is present in the kidneys and prevents them from reabsorbing blood sugar. The absence of SGLT2 enables the kidneys to release the sugar. Farxiga helps in the removal of excess sugar through urine.
Dosage of Farxiga
Farxiga is available in 5 mg and 10 mg tablets. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is the basis of recommendation of the dosage of Farxiga. The doctors recommend Farxiga 5 mg tablet once a day as the starting dose to lower the blood sugar levels if your eGFR is 45 or more. People having eGFR 25 or more but less than 45 can take 10 mg of Dapagliflozin orally once a day. The doctors do not prescribe Farxiga to patients having eGFR less than 25. Sugar patients can take a tablet daily in the morning with or without food.
Increase in dosage: If the blood sugar levels do not get lower in the diabetes patient taking Farxiga 5 mg tablets, the doctor may increase the dosage to 10 mg. It is the maximum dose for diabetes type-2 patients. It reduces the risk of hospitalization for heart failure or kidney damage in diabetes patients.
Side Effects of Farxiga
Although highly effective the medicine Farxiga has certain side effects, such as nausea, back pain, UTI, constipation and others. These are some of the common side effects. However, there are certain serious side effects of this medicine, such as low blood sugar, sepsis, dehydration and others.
Dapagliflozin is a safe prescription medication. However, it may lead to mild to severe side effects in some patients. Thus, you should take this medicine only after a prescription by the doctor. Some of the possible side effects are:
Common Side Effects of Farxiga
The common side effects of Farxiga include:
- increased cholesterol levels
- urinary tract infection
- vaginal yeast infection
- respiratory infections, like the common cold
- genital infection in men
- increased urination
- back pain
- high level of haemoglobin
These are the common and the mild side effects of Farxiga. They may go within a few days or weeks and are easily treatable.
Serious Side Effects of Dapagliflozin
There are serious side effects of Farxiga as well and, they are not common.
- Sepsis: It is a life-threatening medical emergency. It occurs when the infection already in your body. Sepsis triggers a chain reaction and creates inflammation throughout your body. It can damage multiple organs of your body. Without timely treatment, sepsis can cause organ failure, tissue damage, and death.
- Diabetic Ketoacidosis: It is a critical complication of diabetes. It occurs when your body produces high levels of ketones due to less production of insulin in your body. Without insulin, the body breaks down the fat for energy and results in the acid (ketone) build-up in your bloodstream. Negligence of care to treat it eventually leads to diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis leads to diabetic coma or death. You can detect diabetes ketoacidosis by monitoring your blood sugar levels and ketone levels in urine.
- Necrotizing Fasciitis (flesh-eating disease): It is one of the severe side effects of Dapagliflozin. Necrotizing Fasciitis is a bacterial infection that damages the tissue under the skin around the genital area and anus. It leads to the death of the soft tissues of the body. It is a severe infection that spreads quickly. In critical cases, surgical treatment to remove the infected tissue is helpful. Swelling, redness, pain, and tenderness are primary symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis.
- Dehydration: It is another side effect of Farxiga. People taking medicines for lowering their blood pressure, are on a low salt diet or have any kidney problems are at a higher risk of getting dehydration. Generally, people with diabetes type-2 suffer from kidney ailments. When they take Farxiga to lower their blood sugar levels, they may lose water and salts from their body through urine. It makes them dehydrated, which can be fatal for their life.
- Low blood sugar levels: Dapagliflozin may interact with medicines like sulfonylureas or insulin. Thus, it lowers your blood sugar levels below the normal levels. If a doctor prescribes Dapagliflozin to you, make sure to discuss the other medications that you take. It will prevent Farxiga interaction, and your blood sugar levels will also be at normal levels. You should consult your doctor immediately on experiencing any symptoms of low blood sugar levels after taking Farxiga.
Precautions to Take Before Starting Farxiga
It is significant to take some precautions before starting Farxiga. It helps you to avoid the side effects of this medication and get its maximum benefits. The only precautionary measure to take before you begin with Dapagliflozin is to discuss the following with your doctor:
- All the types of health problems that you are having
- All the medicines that you take to avoid Farxiga interaction
- If you are at risk of developing diabetes or ketoacidosis
- About your pregnancy or your plans to get pregnant
- If you are breastfeeding
You can avoid the complications related to Farxiga side effects in this way. Additionally, follow the instructions of your doctor to get the best results of Farxiga.
Effect of Farxiga on the Pregnant Women
Poorly managed diabetes pose a higher risk of complications in pregnant women and their fetus. The complications include the critical health condition of the woman and the death of her fetus. Therefore, it is essential to control your blood sugar levels before planning your pregnancy. If you take Farxiga and become pregnant, you should strictly avoid this medicine in the second and third trimesters. It can harm your unborn baby. It may lead to kidney problems while the fetus is still in the womb.
Effect of Farxiga on the Breastfeeding Child
Farxiga may harm your unborn baby and cause kidney problems. Similarly, the breastfeeding child is also at risk of developing kidney problems. Animal studies show that Dapagliflozin can pass through breast milk. The kidney development of the child starts while the fetus is in the womb. It continues during the first two years after the birth of the child. It is the time when breastfeeding occurs. Thus, Dapagliflozin may pass through the breast milk and, it may lead to kidney problems in the child.
Also Read: HbA1c Blood Test
Farxiga (Dapagliflozin) Interactions
Drug interaction is general with diabetes medications. Thus, Farxiga also interacts with some medicines, food, and diseases. You need to consult with your doctor about Farxiga interaction. It will help you to avoid the adverse effect of Dapagliflozin on your body and health.
- Interaction with medicines: Like few other diabetes medicines, Dapagliflozin also interacts easily with the other medicines. Farxiga interaction can develop some side effects or do not get effective results in controlling blood sugar levels. Therefore, before starting with Farxiga, inform your doctor about the other medications that you are taking. There are around 347 drugs that interact with Farxiga. Some medicines that interact with Farxiga are aspirin, lisinopril, gabapentin, losartan, simvastatin, glimepiride, and levothyroxine.
- Food interaction: There is only one food interaction of Dapagliflozin and, that is alcohol. Alcohol can affect the blood sugar levels of diabetes patients. It can cause hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia depending upon the quantity and frequency of consuming alcohol. It is best to limit alcohol intake in conjunction with your meal plan. You should also avoid drinking it while you are empty stomach and, after exercise especially, if you are taking Farxiga. It can lead to a sudden fall in your blood sugar levels.
- Interaction with the diseases: Four diseases interact with Farxiga. It includes Liver dysfunction, renal dysfunction, hypotension, and infections. Therefore, if you are suffering from any of the mentioned diseases, avoid Dapagliflozin. You can also discuss with your doctor about the same before taking Farxiga to avoid the side effects.
Also Read: Best Glucometer in India
Does Farxiga cause constipation?
There are some diabetes medications like Farxiga that can cause constipation. However, it doesn’t seem to happen often. Constipation results in hard stools and fewer bowel movements in a week. If a diabetes type-2 patient taking Farxiga face the problem of constipation, drinking more fluids can help. It makes the stool softer and easy to pass, thus prevents constipation.
What is eGFR? Why is it necessary to know your eGFR before starting Farxiga?
eGFR stands for estimated glomerular filtration rate. It is the best test to determine the stage of your kidney disease. It also measures the level of functionality of your kidney. Your doctor can tell your eGFR through your blood creatinine test, age, body size, and gender. If your eGFR number is low, it means your kidneys are not working as they should do. Knowing your eGFR helps in the early diagnosis of kidney diseases.
What are the drugs other than Farxiga that are SGLT2 inhibitors?
Sodium-glucose Cotransporter-2 or SGLT2 is a class of medicine that FDA approves for use. SGLT2 inhibitors help in lowering the blood sugar levels in adults with diabetes type-2. It enables the kidneys to remove excess glucose from your body through urine. Invokana (canagliflozin), Invokamet (canagliflozin and metformin), Glyxambi (empagliflozin and linagliptin), Jardiance (empagliflozin), and Xigduo XR (dapagliflozin and metformin extended-release) are some of the diabetes drugs other than Farxiga. These are SGLT2 inhibitors.
Who should not take Farxiga?
Farxiga is not suitable for people with diabetes type-1. It may increase the risk of diabetic ketosis in them. People with diabetes type-1 having kidney problems or genetic forms of polycystic kidney problems should also not take Farxiga. It will not give you the desired results to control blood sugar levels. People who are taking immunosuppressive therapy for kidney treatment should also not take Farxiga.
How long does it take for Farxiga to work?
The doctors prescribe Farxiga to diabetes type-2 patients for lowering their blood glucose levels. Once you take Farxiga, it starts working after one dose. However, you may see the full effect of Farxiga in a week. It prevents the reabsorption of blood glucose into the body through the kidneys. Hence, it helps in excreting more glucose in the body through urination.
Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal
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