SGLT2 Inhibitor Farxiga: A Breakthrough in Type 2 Diabetes Treatments
Diabetes impacts 25.8 million people in the U.S. alone, and estimates are that over 592 million will be affected worldwide by 2035. With approximately 90-95% of those cases diagnosed as Type 2 diabetes, there remains a significant unmet need as many patients are unable to adequately control their glucose levels. Recognizing the opportunity to potentially benefit millions of sufferers, AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb joined forces to deliver an innovative solution directed at diabetes treatments beyond just glucose control. The culmination of this collaboration is the U.S. FDA-approved diabetes medication Farxiga, which attacks the diabetes epidemic through medication, diet, and exercise regimens to remove and regulate glucose in the body, mimicking the function of a healthy kidney.
SLGT2 & Glucose Control
Glucose balance is typically achieved by healthy kidneys via sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2), a high-capacity glucose transporter that filters and reabsorbs glucose back into the body’s circulatory system. Farxiga, also known under the generic dapagliflozin, utilizes selective inhibition of SGLT2 by reducing reabsorption of filtered glucose, expelling it instead through urine with the end result being a reduction in HbA1c results (a critical blood test to determine whether and how much sugar is being retained in hemoglobin, which are the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body) and reductions in weight and systolic blood pressure.
This new class of diabetes medication offers glucose control by allowing increased insulin sensitivity and uptake of glucose in the muscle cells, decreased gluconeogenesis, and improved first-phase insulin release from the beta cells. Drugs in this SGLT2 inhibitor class include empagliflozin, canagliflozin, dapagliflozin, and ipragliflozin.
Farxiga Dosing & Side Effects
Farxiga is a once-daily oral medication supplemental to a diet and exercise regimen designed to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes. While Farxiga is a breakthrough for type 2 patients, it should not be used for patients with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. AstraZeneca recommends a Farxiga starting dose of 5mg once daily to determine tolerance, and a subsequent increase to 10mg once daily. Potential adverse reactions include hypotension, impairment in renal function, hypoglycemia, genital mycotic infections, increases in low-density LDL, and bladder cancer. Other serious potential side effects include dehydration, vaginal yeast infection in women, and yeast infection of the penis. Should these symptoms occur, you should immediately inform your health care provider. It is also critical to discuss with your provider before taking Farxiga whether you have type 1 diabetes, kidney problems, bladder cancer, are pregnant or are planning on becoming pregnant, are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, and any other medicines or over-the-counter supplements you currently take.
Farxiga has been studied as a stand-alone therapy and in combination with other type 2 diabetes therapies. Receiving its FDA approval in January 2014, Farxiga provides a new solution for patients unable to control their type 2 diabetes. Considering the risks associated with uncontrolled diabetes, such as heart disease, blindness, and nerve and kidney damage, this breakthrough drug promises exciting opportunities in the area of glucose control. For more information about available diabetes medications, visit our Diabetes Condition page. Plus, print or download a free discount for popular diabetes drugs.