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Farxiga: Uses, Side Effects, and Interactions

Authored by The Rx Advocates, / Medically Reviewed by Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS
Last Updated: February 6, 2022

Farxiga is a medication that has been shown to improve Type 2 diabetes and other medical problems such as heart failure. Farxiga is taken in pill form and is prescribed by a physician.

Farxiga works by helping the kidneys eliminate the sugar in the bloodstream through urine. It also helps get rid of excess sodium in the urine, which will help the heart contract and relax.

Farxiga is also used to lower the risk of kidney disease and help those dealing with chronic kidney disease that can occur with diabetes.

 

What is Heart Failure?

There are two types of heart failure. There is heart failure with reduced ventricular function and heart failure with preserved left ventricular function.

Heart Failure with Reduced Ventricular Function

This occurs when the “lower left chamber, also known as the left ventricle, enlarges and cannot contract enough to pump the correct amount of oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body.”

Heart Failure with Preserved Left Ventricular Function

This is described as the bottom chambers of the heart becoming thicker and stiffer than normal. The heart can work as usual, but cannot fill up correctly. In turn, this condition causes less blood to be pumped out to the rest of the body.

Diabetes is a known condition that can cause heart failure. If a patient is diagnosed with diabetes, there are symptoms of heart failure that the patient should be aware of, which include:

  • The need to urinate while resting at night.
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats.
  • Dizziness or unable to concentrate.
  • Legs are weak when active.
  • Becoming short of breath during exercise.
  • Developing a dry hacking cough.
  • Feeling nauseous or even having a bloated stomach.

 

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

When the body either does not use insulin well or makes insufficient insulin, glucose stays in the blood and does not reach the body’s cells.

If a blood test detects an abnormally high blood glucose level, Type 2 diabetes will then be diagnosed.

There are symptoms of Type 2 diabetes that individuals should be aware of, including:

  • A sudden decrease in weight.
  • An increase in thirst and urination.
  • Some individuals are more tired than usual.
  • Sores that are unable to heal on their own.
  • An increase in appetite.
  • There could be a loss of feeling in the hands or feet, described as tingling.
  • A change in vision.

If these symptoms occur, it is essential to see a medical professional and see if Type 2 diabetes has developed.

 

What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

Chronic kidney disease occurs when the kidneys are unable to filter the blood properly. The kidneys become damaged slowly and over some time. When this happens, waste builds up in the body.

If this goes unchecked, the kidneys can fail, and the individual will need dialysis. It is usually caused by diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and family genetics.

Some symptoms of chronic kidney disease include:

  • Edema can occur in legs, feet, or ankles
  • Vomiting 
  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Feeling tired
  • Dry skin
  • A loss of appetite 
  • Inability to focus

 

The Benefits of Farxiga

Farxiga is a multipurpose, prescription meditation. Originally, Farxiga was approved in 2014 for treating Type 2 diabetes. In 2020, the FDA also approved it to treat heart failure, and then in 2021, it was approved for the treatment of chronic kidney disease.

Studies have shown that Farxiga reduces hospital stays and death from heart failure. This medication can also treat chronic kidney disease in people who have not been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Farxiga is a medication that is taken only once a day, with or without food. Farxiga works in helping type 2 diabetes, heart failure, and chronic kidney disease by:

  • It will block some sugar reabsorption in the kidneys.
  • It lowers the workload of the heart, increasing its ability to pump blood more efficiently.
  • Lowers pressure in the kidney, as is associated with chronic kidney disease.

With three key benefits in taking Farxiga, patients should note that it has not been approved to treat Type 1 diabetes and should not be used to treat diabetic ketoacidosis. There are certain individuals with different kidney problems that it cannot help with, and that is why it is important to talk it over with a physician when taking this medication.

Farxiga Uses

This medication is taken orally by the patient. If the patient takes Farxiga for Type 2 diabetes, it will improve the blood glucose levels when combined with diet and exercise.

There is a link between Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Type 2 diabetes causes an excess amount of glucose and insulin in the body. When this occurs, the body produces fatty buildup and inflammation within vessels, weakening the heart. Farxiga reduces fatty buildup in the heart and inflammation by facilitating the excretion of sugar through urination.

Farxiga Side Effects

This medication has common side effects, which include:

  • Yeast infection
  • Increased urination
  • Sore throat or runny nose

If more severe side effects occur, a physician should be contacted right away. These possible side effects include:

  • Bladder infection
  • Becoming confused, dizzy, and having extreme thirst
  • Bladder infection
  • Vomiting, having trouble breathing or becoming nauseated

Interactions

Many drugs can interact with Farxiga. It is essential to tell the physician what is being taken, especially if other diabetic medications or a diuretic are being taken.

 

Paying for Farxiga with Help From The Rx Advocates

Farxiga is commonly prescribed by physicians. There is not a generic option for this drug, so it can be a costly medication for the patient. At The Rx Advocates, we work with you to help make medications like Farxiga affordable.

The Rx Advocates is an advocacy program that can help patients get the help needed in paying for name-brand prescriptions. We offer you the ability to receive name-brand prescriptions at zero cost if you qualify.

At The Rx Advocates, we work directly with your physician to help fill out the application needed for the pharmaceutical company. We then make sure the application has been received and is being processed properly.

Once we find the application is approved, we handle all the work and manage the medication.  The only cost to you is a monthly fee which is based on how many prescriptions are needed.  This process allows us to ensure you receive the necessary discounts through our patient assistance program.

The Rx Advocates has a list of medications that we offer discounts on through our program. The list of medicines grows weekly, so make sure to check back to see if your other medications are approved and on the list.  To learn more about our patient advocacy program, contact us today.

 

Sources:

NIDDK.NIH. Chronic Kidney Disease. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd#:~:text=Chronic%20kidney%20disease%20(CKD)%20means,family%20history%20of%20kidney%20failure. 2021.

Cleveland Clinic. Heart Failure. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17069-heart-failure-understanding-heart-failure. 2021.

Farxiga. Farxiga FAQ. https://www.farxiga.com/faq/hero?source=FRX_C_C_8048&umedium=cpc&uadpub=GOOGLE&ucampaign=71700000078244309&ucreative=58700006586435858&uplace=43700059546183838&outcome=UDTC&cmpid=1&gclid=CjwKCAiA7dKMBhBCEiwAO_crFOm5tmMWE6DmjJvDNNK6B4ZQCQ9xNQFJp2YrRJXHFytQB_sKGNzbNRoCCvoQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds. 2021.

Medical News. Diabetic ketoacidosis: What to Know. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325136. 2019.

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