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farxiga, diabetes, insulin, type 1, type 2

Could Farxiga Soon be Used to Treat Type 1?

Farxiga (or Forxiga outside the U.S.) is used as a supplemental medication for those with type 2 who are unable to manage their blood sugar levels on insulin alone.

The European Commission recently approved Farxiga (dapagliflozin) for use in people with type 1 diabetes. This is the first oral medication to be approved for type 1 in Europe.  

In the U.S., a decision will be made in the second half of 2019 as to whether the drug is approved for use. As mentioned, the drug is already approved for U.S. and European patients with type 2 to help people lower blood sugar and maintain a healthy weight.

How it works

In the past, injectable insulin was the only way to treat type 1 diabetes. With the addition of this oral medication, people who can’t get their blood sugar levels under control could be more successful at managing their diabetes.

Farxiga is part of a group of drugs called SGLT2 inhibitors. These medications work in the kidneys by helping to release glucose through the urine when blood sugar levels get too high. Other drugs in this class are Jardiance and Invokana.  

In order to use Farxiga, patients have to first pass certain requirements and not have a BMI below 27 kg/m². The medication is not recommended for those with low insulin requirement or those who are on dialysis.

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Explaining type 1

In type 1 diabetes, the body attacks the beta cells of the pancreas that produce insulin. Insulin is an essential hormone that the body uses to convert sugar to energy. Type 1 is a chronic condition in which people have to take insulin all of their lives, either via injections or an insulin pump.   

Possible side effects of Farxiga

Side effects of Farxiga could include:

  • Dehydration
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Kidney problems
  • Yeast infections
  • Bacterial infections in the genitals
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Low blood sugar
  • Increase in bad cholesterol
  • Stuffy/runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Changes in urination patterns
  • Bladder cancer

If approved, Farxiga could be used to help manage type 1 diabetes soon. Note that there have been reports of complications when using SGLT2 inhibitors. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and side effects of Farxiga for type 1 diabetes.