If you have type 2 diabetes, heart failure, or chronic kidney disease, your doctor might suggest Farxiga (dapagliflozin) as a treatment option for your condition.

Farxiga is a prescription medication that’s used in adults to:

  • treat type 2 diabetes when used along with diet and exercise
  • decrease the risk of being hospitalized for heart failure in people with type 2 diabetes and heart disease
  • reduce the risk of being hospitalized for heart failure or cardiovascular death (such as a heart attack) in people with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (when your heart muscle can’t pump blood out as well as it should)
  • decrease the risk of worsening kidney function or being hospitalized for heart failure or cardiovascular death in people with chronic kidney disease

Note: People with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis should not take Farxiga. To learn more, talk with your doctor.

Farxiga comes as a tablet that you take by mouth once daily. If Farxiga works for you, your doctor will likely recommend that you take it long term.

For more information about Farxiga, including details about its uses, see this in-depth article on the drug.

Like other drugs, Farxiga can cause mild or serious side effects. Keep reading to learn more.

Some people may experience mild or serious side effects during Farxiga treatment. Examples of a few of Farxiga’s commonly reported side effects include:

* To learn more about this side effect, see “Side effects explained” below.

You may experience mild side effects from taking Farxiga. Examples of mild side effects that have been reported with Farxiga include:

* To learn more about this side effect, see “Side effects explained” below.

In most cases, these side effects should be temporary. Some may be easily managed, too. But if you have any symptoms that are ongoing or that bother you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. And don’t stop using Farxiga unless your doctor recommends it.

Farxiga may cause mild side effects other than the ones listed above. See the Farxiga medication guide for details.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks side effects of the medication. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Farxiga, visit MedWatch.

Although rare, it’s possible to develop serious side effects from taking Farxiga. You should be aware of these side effects so that you can tell your doctor right away if you develop them.

Serious side effects that have been reported with Farxiga include:

If you develop serious side effects while taking Farxiga, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

* To learn more about this side effect, see “Side effects explained” below.
† For details on this side effect, see “Genital-related side effects” under “Side effects explained” below.

Get answers to some frequently asked questions about Farxiga’s side effects.

If you take Farxiga to help prevent problems from heart failure, are the side effects different compared with taking the drug to treat type 2 diabetes?

The possible side effects of Farxiga are very similar regardless of the condition you’re taking the drug to treat. In studies, there were no major differences in side effects reported by people taking Farxiga for type 2 diabetes, heart failure, or chronic kidney disease.

But it’s possible that you may have a higher risk for certain side effects if you take Farxiga for heart failure. For example, if you’re also taking a diuretic medication such as furosemide (Lasix), this could increase your risk for dehydration (low fluid levels).

Your doctor will monitor you for side effects throughout Farxiga treatment. They can also tell you the side effects to watch for based on your condition and your other medications.

Can Farxiga cause hair loss?

No, Farxiga should not cause hair loss. This was not a side effect reported in studies of people taking Farxiga.

But it’s possible that diabetes can cause hair loss. This is due having too much sugar in your blood, which can cause damage to the blood supply that nourishes your hair.

If you experience bothersome hair loss while taking Farxiga, talk with your doctor. They can help determine what’s causing the hair loss and the best way to treat it.

Is the risk of side effects lower with the 5-mg dose of Farxiga than with the 10-mg dose?

It depends. Generally, taking a higher dose of medication will increase your risk for side effects. But in studies of Farxiga, some side effects were reported just as often in people taking a 5-mg dose as in people taking a 10-mg dose.

If you’re taking 10 mg of Farxiga per day and are experiencing bothersome side effects, talk with your doctor. They may recommend decreasing your dosage to 5 mg daily, or they may recommend a different treatment option for your condition.

Do Farxiga’s side effects usually go away? Are any long term?

Most of Farxiga’s side effects are mild, and they may go away after your body adjusts to taking the medication. But some side effects may be considered more long term. Examples include:

If you’re concerned about long-term side effects, or if you develop bothersome side effects during treatment, talk with your doctor. They may recommend a different treatment option for your condition or recommend ways to ease your side effects.

Will taking Farxiga cause erectile dysfunction?

No, you should not experience erectile dysfunction from taking Farxiga. This was not a side effect that was reported in studies of people taking this medication.

But if your diabetes is not well managed, it can lead to damage to your blood vessels. Over time, this can cause erectile dysfunction. Keeping your blood sugar levels within a healthy range can help lower your risk for blood vessel damage, which can also decrease your risk for erectile dysfunction.

If you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction, talk with your doctor. They may be able to recommend another medication, such as sildenafil (Viagra), to treat your condition. They may also be able to determine what’s causing your erectile dysfunction and the best way to treat it.

Learn more about some of the side effects Farxiga may cause.

Weight loss

Some people may experience weight loss while taking Farxiga. This may be due to the way the drug works. Farxiga helps your body eliminate sugar through your urine, which means your body doesn’t absorb it. This may cause weight loss.

What might help

If you’re concerned about weight loss during Farxiga treatment, talk with your doctor. They can recommend ways to manage your weight, or they may recommend a different medication to treat your condition.

Genital-related side effects

Some people may experience genital-related side effects from taking Farxiga. Some of these side effects, such as yeast infection, occurred very commonly in people taking Farxiga in studies. But some serious conditions, such as Fournier’s gangrene, are much rarer.

It’s important that you’re aware of the genital-related side effects that Farxiga may cause, so you know the symptoms to watch for during treatment.

A yeast infection of the vagina or penis was very common in people taking Farxiga in studies. Symptoms to watch for in the genitals may include:

  • rash or redness
  • itching
  • burning
  • swelling
  • pain or soreness

In rare cases, Farxiga can cause Fournier’s gangrene, which can be life threatening. With this condition, an infection can occur on the genitals or nearby areas. Symptoms may include:

What might help

If you develop any genital-related side effects, talk with your doctor to determine the cause of your side effects.

If you have a yeast infection, your doctor can prescribe medication to treat it. If you develop Fournier’s gangrene, your doctor will recommend that you start taking antibiotics right away. They’ll also have you stop taking Farxiga and switch to a different medication to treat your diabetes. For Fournier’s gangrene, you may also need treatment in a hospital.

Low blood sugar level

Low blood sugar is possible during treatment with Farxiga. But in studies, Farxiga only caused low blood sugar when taken with insulin or other medications that increase your insulin levels.

If you take other medications for your diabetes, be sure to tell your doctor before you start Farxiga treatment. While taking Farxiga, you should watch for symptoms of low blood sugar, such as:

What might help

If you’re taking Farxiga with other diabetes drugs, your doctor may recommend that you monitor your blood sugar more often to make sure it doesn’t get too low.

You should talk with your doctor about what to do if your blood sugar does get too low. They may recommend that you carry glucose tablets or drink some juice or soda to increase your blood sugar levels.

In addition, your doctor may recommend decreasing your dose of your other diabetes medications when you first start taking Farxiga or if you’re experiencing low blood sugar. This can may help prevent low blood sugar.

Dehydration

Farxiga may cause dehydration (low fluid levels) in some people. But this was not a common side effect in people taking Farxiga in studies.

In some cases, severe dehydration can lead to kidney problems, which can be serious.

You may have a higher risk for becoming dehydrated if you are:

  • ages 65 years or older
  • on a low-salt diet
  • have kidney problems
  • take diuretics or other blood pressure medications
  • experiencing vomiting or diarrhea

These conditions cause you to lose fluid in your body, which can raise your risk for dehydration.

If you have any of these risk factors, talk with your doctor. They will likely recommend that you watch for any symptoms of dehydration throughout your Farxiga treatment with Farxiga. These symptoms may include:

  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • headache
  • feeling faint or lightheaded
  • dry mouth or increased thirst
  • decreased urination
  • constipation

What might help

Before starting Farxiga treatment, talk with your doctor about what to do if you develop symptoms of dehydration. They can recommend ways to help prevent and treat dehydration.

Allergic reaction

Like most drugs, Farxiga can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

Symptoms can be mild or serious and can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe

What might help

If you have mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a mild rash, call your doctor right away. They may suggest an over-the-counter oral antihistamine, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine), or a topical product, such as hydrocortisone cream, to manage your symptoms.

If your doctor confirms you had a mild allergic reaction to Farxiga, they’ll decide if you should continue using it.

If you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as swelling or trouble breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. These symptoms could be life threatening and require immediate medical care.

If your doctor confirms you had a serious allergic reaction to Farxiga, they may have you switch to a different treatment.

Keeping track of side effects

During Farxiga treatment, consider keeping notes on any side effects you’re having. Then, you can share this information with your doctor. This is especially helpful to do when you first start taking new drugs or using a combination of treatments.

Your side effect notes can include things such as:

  • what dose of the drug you were taking when you had the side effect
  • how soon after starting that dose you had the side effect
  • what your symptoms were from the side effect
  • how it affected your daily activities
  • what other medications you were also taking
  • any other information you feel is important

Keeping notes and sharing them with your doctor will help your doctor learn more about how the drug affects you. Your doctor can use this information to adjust your treatment plan if needed.

Farxiga may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. Talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Farxiga. The list below includes factors to consider.

Kidney disease or dialysis. If you have a kidney disease or are receiving dialysis, tell your doctor before taking Farxiga. This drug may make your kidney disease worse. If your kidney disease is serious, your doctor will likely recommend a different medication to treat your condition. In cases of mild kidney disease, your doctor will likely monitor you throughout Farxiga treatment. Your doctor can determine if Farxiga is safe for you to take.

Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Farxiga or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t take Farxiga. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.

Upcoming surgery. If you have a surgery coming up, you may need to stop taking Farxiga temporarily before your surgery. This is because having surgery while you’re taking Farxiga may raise your risk for developing ketoacidosis. If you have surgery planned, talk with your doctor about whether you need to pause Farxiga treatment.

Pancreas conditions. If you have any pancreas conditions, including pancreatitis, tell your doctor before taking Farxiga. This medication can cause a condition called ketoacidosis. You may have a higher risk for developing ketoacidosis if you have a pancreas condition as well. Your doctor may monitor you more closely during treatment, or they may recommend a different medication for you.

High cholesterol. Farxiga may raise your cholesterol. If you already have high cholesterol, Farxiga can increase your cholesterol to an unsafe level. Your doctor may monitor your cholesterol levels throughout treatment. Or they may recommend that you take a cholesterol medication along with Farxiga to help lower your cholesterol.

Alcohol use and Farxiga

You should limit your alcohol consumption during Farxiga treatment. This is because alcohol may raise your blood sugar. If you have diabetes, this can cause your condition to worsen.

In addition, Farxiga can cause a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. This may also occur from drinking too much alcohol. So you may have a higher risk for developing ketoacidosis if you drink alcohol while taking Farxiga.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about how much (if any) is safe for you to drink during Farxiga treatment.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding while taking Farxiga

It’s not known if Farxiga may cause harm to a fetus. But based on animal studies, Farxiga is not recommended during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. This is because it may cause kidney problems to develop in the fetus.

It’s important to note that animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in humans. More studies are needed to determine the risk in humans.

Untreated diabetes during pregnancy can also cause harm to a fetus. So if you have diabetes, it’s important to talk with your doctor about the best treatment option during your pregnancy.

It’s also unknown if it’s safe to breastfeed while taking Farxiga. Studies haven’t shown whether the drug may pass into breast milk, or what effects it may have on a child who is breastfed. But because there’s a risk of side effects, Farxiga is not recommended while breastfeeding.

Some people may experience side effects from taking Farxiga. Although most side effects are mild, it’s possible to develop serious side effects as well. You should discuss side effects with your doctor before you start taking this medication, so that you know what to watch for. Examples of some questions you may want to ask your doctor include:

  • Can my dose be decreased if I experience bothersome side effects?
  • Based on my condition, what side effects am I at most risk for?
  • What should I do if I become pregnant while taking Farxiga?

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Disclaimer: Healthlinehas made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.