It is the brand name of a medication called dapagliflozin, which is part of a new class of medications (oral antihyperglycemic agents) that work in the kidney to block a protein called SGLT2.
By blocking this protein, the medication can remove excess glucose through urine, therefore, lowering blood glucose (sugar) levels.
It was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2014. The medication is produced by AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition which causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. There are two main types of diabetes:
- type 2 – where the body’s cells don’t react to insulin or the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin;
- type 1 – where the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin.
The main symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- blurred vision – caused by the lens of the eye becoming dry;
- cuts or wounds which heal slowly;
- itching around the vagina or penis;
- unexplained weight loss;
- feeling very tired;
- feeling very thirsty;
- urinating more often than usual.
Note – an estimated one-third of all people in the United States who have diabetes do not know it. That number comes from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
The usual recommended dose is 5 mg orally once per day. The dosage may be increased to 10 mg orally once per day in people tolerating therapy with 5 mg per day and needing additional glycemic control.
Note – this medication is not for treating type 1 diabetes.
Side Effects and Precautions
Common side effects may include:
- runny or stuffy nose;
- urinating more than usual;
- a sore throat.
Rare side effects may include:
- little or no urination;
- a light-headed feeling (like you might pass out);
- trouble breathing;
- pain in your pelvis or back;
- unusual drowsiness;
- blood in your urine;
- increased urination;
- stomach pain;
- burning when you urinate.
To make sure that this oral antihyperglycemic agent is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had:
- a bladder infection;
- liver or kidney disease;
- if you are on a low sodium diet;
- heart problems;
- bladder cancer;
- problems with the pancreas, including surgery;
- if you drink alcohol often;
- low blood pressure.
You should talk to your healthcare professional before consuming alcoholic beverages while taking oral antihyperglycemic agents since alcohol may cause a change in blood sugar.
It is not known whether the medication passes into breast milk or if it could negatively affect the infant.
It is also not known exactly whether taking an oral antihyperglycemic agent while pregnant will harm an unborn baby.
It is the brand name of a drug called canagliflozin, that belong to a class of drugs known as sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors.
The medication works by helping the kidneys get rid of glucose from the bloodstream. It actually blocks the action of the SGLT2 enzyme.
It is produced by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The US Food and Drug Administration originally approved this medicine in 2013. In 2015, sales hit $1.3 billion with 1.1 million prescriptions.
This prescription drug is used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Notes – it should not be used by people with low kidney function, people taking strong diuretic medication, people with type 1 diabetes or by people who have diarrhea.
Additionally, if it is used alone, this sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor doesn’t lower blood sugar enough to make it effective as a single agent for diabetes. Hence, it must be combined with other diabetes medications.
The recommended dose is 100 mg once a day, taken before breakfast. The dosage can be increased to 300 mg once per day if the sufferer has normal kidney function.
Side Effects And Precautions
Common side effects may include:
- vaginal yeast infections;
- changes in urination;
- yeast infections of the penis;
- urinary tract infection.
Less common side effects may include:
- urine which has a strong odor;
- pelvic pain;
- tingling in the legs or arms;
- loss of muscle tone;
- feeling extremely thirsty;
- painful urination;
- foul-smelling discharge coming from the penis;
- heaviness in the legs;
- slow or irregular heartbeat;
- yellowish vaginal discharge;
- lack of energy;
- pain in the skin around the penis;
- urine which is red, cloudy, pink, or brown;
- rapid weight gain.
It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:
- Dilantin or Phenytek (an anti-seizure medication which is used for the prevention of partial seizures and tonic-clonic seizures);
- other diabetes medicines;
- angiotensin receptor blockers, like – Atacand (candesartan), Edarbi (azilsartan), Cozaar (losartan), Avapro (irbesartan), Micardis (telmisartan), or Benicar (olmesartan);
- Rifampin (an antibiotic used to treat leprosy, tuberculosis, and Legionnaires’ disease);
- angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, like – Capoten (captopril), Lotensin (benazepril), Univasc (moexipril), Monopril (fosinopril), Accupril (quinapril), Aceon (perindopril), Mavik (trandolapril), or Zestril (lisinopril);
- Ritonavir (an antiretroviral medication used to treat HIV/AIDS);
- diuretics (water pills);
- Phenobarbital (a medication recommended for the treatment of certain types of epilepsy);
- Lanoxin (digoxin).
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
It is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk or can negatively affect the infant. Talk with your healthcare professional before taking this sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
It is also not known exactly whether this sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor will harm an unborn baby. Hence, tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to fall pregnant before taking this medication.
Talk to your healthcare provider about how much alcohol is safe to consume while taking this medication since consuming alcoholic beverages can cause changes in your blood sugar.
Bottom Line – Farxiga vs Invokana
Farxiga (active ingredient – dapagliflozin) is an oral diabetes medicine that is used together with exercise and diet in order to improve blood glucose (sugar) control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. It works by helping the kidneys get rid of glucose from the bloodstream.
Invokana (active ingredient – canagliflozin) is a medication that is used in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus to control their blood glucose (sugar) level.