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Farxiga for Weight Loss Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Efficacy

<p>Farxiga for Weight Loss Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Efficacy</p>
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Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 8 min read

Obesity or excess weight gain is something that many Americans deal with. CDC statistics show that obesity prevalence is roughly 41% of people over twenty years old in the U.S. In general, a little excess fat isn't cause for major concern, but when you find yourself tipping over your BMI, weight loss is not only recommended, it's necessary. In these cases, standard diet and exercise modifications may not be enough to  help shed pounds fast enough to reduce the risk of disease development. While this may seem like the odds are against you, there are other options that can be used to accelerate weight loss. Farxiga, a popularly known drug used to manage type 2 diabetes, may have some benefit with weight management as well, although not specifically FDA approved for this purpose

Below we look at Farxiga as a possible weight-loss aid:

Basic Overview of Farxiga

Farxiga belongs to a class of prescription drugs that are FDA approved to treat and manage fluctuating blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. The treatment also reduces the characteristic risks associated with heart failure and kidney disease. 

Farxiga uses a single active ingredient called dapagliflozin to carry out its function. Although the drug is synthetic, it is safe and tolerable, which allows it to be used by a diverse group of users. 

The treatment can also be used in conjunction with other compatible medicines without inducing side effects, showcasing its flexibility. According to a PubMed study, dapagliflozin can be used independently or in conjunction with other regulatory blood sugar medicines. The evidence showed that dapagliflozin use is not only linked to lowered blood sugar levels but also associated with weight reduction. 

Farxiga Uses Explained

Treatments are created with a specific goal in mind—to correct or reverse the damage caused by illness or disease. Most times, treatments are created to treat or manage the damage done by one ailment, but often professionals find that the drug is capable of more. Farxiga, for example, was designed to manage Type 2 diabetes. However, several researchers have found that the drug is able to achieve other feats, improving and correcting other aspects of users' health. 

Let's take a more in-depth look at Farxiga's use list below to get a better understanding of the drug's capabilities:

In patients with type 2 diabetes, FARXIGA is indicated:

- To reduce the risk of sustained eGFR decline, end-stage kidney disease, cardiovascular (CV) death, and hospitalization for heart failure in adults with chronic kidney disease at risk of progression.

- To reduce the risk of cardiovascular death and hospitalization for heart failure in adults with heart failure (NYHA class II-IV) with reduced ejection fraction.

- To reduce the risk of hospitalization for heart failure in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus and either established cardiovascular disease or multiple CV risk factors.

- As an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

In addition to these approved uses, the drug has been used off-label to trigger weight loss in individuals who suffer from obesity. Clinical trials show that those taking Farxiga lost approximately 7 pounds—3 kilograms over 24 weeks.

The Link Between Farxiga Use and Weight Loss

Farxiga is categorized as a sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitor. This is a class of anti-hyperglycemic prescription medicines that, of course, control and regulate blood sugar levels. Although they are primarily used as an anti-diabetic medication, there is recorded evidence of their effect on weight loss. To date, there have been several trials and clinical observations that confirm Farxiga potentially aids in weight loss in circumstances where type 2 diabetes is both present and absent. 

Below we look at a study that recorded the efficacy of Farxiga as a weight loss aid. One hundred and eighty-two patients with Type 2 diabetes were assessed to evaluate the effect of dapagliflozin 10 mg on weight loss. After 24 weeks, the following results were recorded:

  • A reduction in blood sugar levels

  • Induction of glycosuria (sugar in the urine)  

  • The excess sugar in the urine is eliminated naturally by the body

  • This leads to a calorie deficit—gradual weight loss over time

  • A weight loss of 2.08 kg, and a decrease in waist circumference of 1.52 cm was noted

  • A decrease in visceral (deep fat that wraps around abdominal organs) and subcutaneous (surface fat found just under the skin) fat was also noted.

These results clearly depict the effect Farxiga has on weight loss. The product is considered safe for use with minimal adverse events recorded in the trial. Most patients involved in the trial experienced little to no side effects, while a small portion experienced an increased risk of genitourinary (genital and urinary organ) infections.

How Does Farxiga Work to Induce Weight Loss?

The mechanism of action behind how this drug works to induce weight loss strays away from the norms. As mentioned previously, Farxiga belongs to a class of medicines called SGLT2 inhibitors. These drugs lower blood sugar levels by blocking the kidney's sodium-glucose (sugar) cotransporters. This reduces renal tubular glucose reabsorption. In simple terms, it stops the kidney from reabsorbing sugar. By doing this, the drug promotes the elimination of sugar from the body without stimulating insulin release. In people with diabetes, this effect is very beneficial as it lowers blood sugar levels. In essence, Farxiga induces weight loss and boosts energy levels

Farxiga's Efficacy and Safety for Weight Loss

Farxiga has been reported to have an excellent safety and efficacy profile. However, most patients wonder if these findings extend to circumstances that go beyond blood glucose control. When it comes to Farxiga and weight loss, the safety and efficacy may be favorable. Studies that evaluate the drug for weight loss have a minimal recording of serious adverse effects and solid findings of weight loss.

Evidence from The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism demonstrates the drug's efficacy and safety for weight loss. The 24-week study consisted of a large group of patients across 5 countries. The accumulative data showed the following:

  • Moderate weight loss has been a consistent finding in all the clinical trials conducted over the weeks.

  • The gradual loss in mass and waist circumference are beneficial to underlying conditions (diabetes and/or obesity) and reduces the risk of developing long-term ailments.

In conclusion, this study shows some potential efficacy of the drug for weight loss with a generally favorable safety profile. 

Recommended Dosage

Dosage and usage instructions are standard directions of how treatments should be used. Since Farxiga is an anti-diabetic agent, most individuals assume it carries the same usage and dosage instructions as other medications in its class, but it doesn't. Farxiga has its own dosage and usage instructions that are unique to its user base. Its approved uses have a set dosage recommendation, but most wonder if this applies to off-label uses as well. 

Farxiga comes in two strengths, 5mg and 10mg oral tablets. Let's look at the standard dosage schedule below:

The standard dose for someone with normal kidney function and just type 2 diabetes is 5 mg per day, however, that dose can be increased based on kidney function and need for improved glycemic control.

Farxiga Side Effects

Pharmaceutical drugs often come with the possibility of side effects. It's a common occurrence typically attributed to the body becoming familiar with the treatment's effects. While this reasoning does suffice for common, mild side effects, more serious adverse events appear due to other reasons. Some of the most common are interactions, contraindications, allergies, and ignorance to dosage and usage recommendations. 

Let's look at some of the side effects below:

Common side effects 

  • Nose irritation

  • Throat irritation 

  • Vaginal or penile yeast infection

  • Changes in urination patterns, including the urge to urinate more often, in larger amounts, or at night

More serious side effects:

  • Passing out

  • Ketoacidosis

  • Dehydration

  • Fast breathing

  • Mood changes

  • Loss of strength

  • Low blood sugar

  • Kidney problems

  • Abnormal heartbeat

  • Blood in urine or UTIs

  • Confusion or headaches

  • Fluid and electrolyte issues

  • Pelvic pain or severe stomach pain

When it comes to treatments like Farxiga, the likelihood of side effects can potentially rise, considering the conditions the drug is indicated to treat. This is why users are asked to adhere to all expert and professional recommendations. If the drug is used accordingly, the risk of side effects is low. 

Farxiga Interaction and Contraindications 

Interactions and contraindications fuel side effects. They can induce undesirable treatment outcomes and eliminate the possibility of success with treatment. This is one of the reasons most users pay close attention to them. Interactions and contraindications are specific drugs and conditions that do not allow treatment use. In this case, the treatment is Farxiga. Let's look at the interactions and contraindications associated with Farxiga use below.

Farxiga should not be taken with:

  • Glucotrol XL (glipizide)

  • Glynase (glyburide)

  • Amaryl (glimepiride)

Farxiga should not be used if you:

  • going to have surgery

  • have diabetic ketoacidosis or type 1 diabetes 

  • have a history of UTIs (urinary tract infections) or problems urinating

  • have allergies to dapagliflozin or any other ingredients in Farxiga

  • have moderate to severe liver/kidney problems or are on dialysis

  • are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to breastfeed

  • have or had problems with the pancreas, including pancreatitis or pancreatic surgery 

  • consume alcohol often or binge drink (consume excess amounts of alcohol in a short period) 

  • have Genetic forms of polycystic kidney disease, taking or have recently received immunosuppressives

These factors should be considered before starting a Farxiga treatment plan. Adherence to the above will increase the possibility of successful results. 

Bottom Line 

Although Farxiga is not approved for weight loss, its ability to function as a weight loss aid is quite impressive. Most trials depicting its fat loss effects show that the drug has the ability to provide users with substantial weight loss without causing an uproar of side effects. This is rare, especially in cases that deal with conditions such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. The conclusion is that the product may potentially benefit patients who require a weight loss aid, especially if they have type 2 diabetes.

 

5 Sources 

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.

https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4232499/

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=72ad22ae-efe6-4cd6-a302-98aaee423d69

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03968224

https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/97/3/1020/2536455#59677883


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.