Dapagliflozin Oral Route

Dapagliflozin is prescribed to control blood sugar levels with the help of our kidneys; the glucose (blood sugar) is removed from the bloodstream for type 2 diabetes.

Overview

Dapagliflozin belongs to a family of drugs known as sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. They stop the absorption of filtered glucose from re-entering the bloodstream. The condition treated is known as Prediabetes, insulin resistance disorder and type 2 diabetes. It occurs when our bodies don't use the blood sugar produced, leaving an excessive amount in the bloodstream.

Combined with a balanced diet and exercise, dapagliflozin is prescribed to help lower blood sugar levels in adults. In most cases, the condition is discovered during regular office visits and review of lab tests. Left untreated, the condition has serious health consequences, including blindness, nerve and kidney damage and heart diseases.

For some individuals, several underlying causes can trigger the condition from DNA, lifestyle choices along with your own medical and health histories. If you suffer from liver or kidney diseases, bladder infections, heart problems or restricted diets – your doctor may not prescribe this medicine for you.

• Dapagliflozin is not recommended for anyone under 18 years of age.
• If you are pregnant be sure to talk with your doctor before taking this medication
• If you have allergies, you may have serious reactions when taking this medicine.

The health industry has noted precautions when using this medicine. Drug interactions and side effects can worsen underlying conditions in adults. The effectiveness and safety for children younger than 18 years of age has not been established.

Dapagliflozin appears to offer better-quality health results, based on the ability to control many of the health factors affecting this condition compared to the other SGLT2 inhibitors. In any case, precautions are still suggested.

Condition(s) Treated

  • Type 2 diabetes

Type of Medicine

  • Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor

Side Effects

Science works to develop the right combinations of chemicals and compounds used to produce successful medicines to improve your health. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) makes sure all medicines are tested for safety and effectiveness before they are used in medical diagnosis, treatment, and cure or prevention of specific illnesses.

Even with all this testing, side effects will differ from person to person with various levels depending on the individual’s health, the severity of the condition being treated and sometimes-unknown allergies. In most cases, the side effects are predictable and treatable, but there are instances of unexpected effects. You can help the doctor by sharing all the information on the medications you are taking now.

Because diabetes is associated with family history and your own choice of lifestyles having access to your medical data will help in determining the right dosage for treatment and relief of the side effects. Your past history and current health reveal significant information for the doctor when prescribing medications. Before recommending treatment of this medicine, your doctor will make sure dapagliflozin is safe for you, based your medical history and the test assessments diagnosing your condition.

Most side effects fall into four categories – more common, common, least common and rare. Risks associated with each category and the level of side effects will differ for each individual. If you experience any of these side effects or ones not listed during any phase of treatment – tell your doctor.

Common

• Anxiety
• Bladder pain
• Change in urination
• Change in vision
• Chills
• Cold sweats
• Lower back or side pain
• Nausea
• Swelling
• Upset stomach
• Weight gain

The most common side effects may involve your gastrointestinal system, causing nausea or an upset stomach. Some of these unwanted effects can occur randomly during treatment. The percentages of individuals experiencing these common effects are low, but you can expect to experience at least one.

When undergoing any form of treatment, not all side effects need medical attention. Most will fade away as your body adjusts to the medicine. Sometimes the effects are caused by changes in your diet or activities affecting your response to this medication. Some side effects are serious and need emergency help. Always contact your doctor if you are concerned about the side effect. DO NOT self-diagnosis or hope the effect goes away on its own.

In either situation talk to your doctor, there are solutions to help relieve or prevent the effects. If they persist for a more than a week or they cause you discomfort, contact your doctor. There may be a more serious problem.

Least common

• Coma
• Fast heartbeat
• Genital discharge
• Genital rashes
• Genital skin pain and itching
• Nightmares

Serious side effects or adverse reactions do happen when taking more than one medicine. Your doctor will make sure any existing condition along with the current diagnosis is treated. When two different drugs come in contact, there is a certain amount of risk to the individual and the health disorders. The first action of response to the effect is changing the dosage of one or both medicines. Changing the schedule of each medication allows each to work with your body at different times, avoiding a reaction.

There are instances when an individual has been taking a single drug for a longer duration and the accumulation can cause the body to have a severe reaction or prompt the development of another health disorder. The introduction of another medicine may have the same effect.

If you have a history of allergies, medications like dapagliflozin can trigger a reaction. These side effects may start mild with skin irritations like hives or rashes. Some effects are rare, but they can be harmful, affecting your breathing by causing severe swelling of the face, mouth and throat areas. If you experience any of these rare side effects, you need to contact your doctor or head to the nearest emergency center.

Rare

• Bad breath
• Chest or stomach pains
• Difficulty with swallowing
• Dizziness or lightheadedness
• Dry mouth
• Fainting
• Fever and aches
• Increase in heart rate
• Puffiness around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
• Runny nose
• Trouble breathing
• Weight loss

For most of us, taking a medication is a part of our daily health routine for an occasional illness or one that’s diagnosed. We rely on medicines for assistance to treat diseases and improve our health. Although medicines do make us feel better, there will always be some level of risk with the benefits.

Medications include prescription, over-the-counter, health supplements and herbal remedies. Certain foods contain elements that will interact with medications. Each one may cause an unwanted side effect when taking this medication.

If you have any of these conditions listed, make sure your doctor knows before starting treatment with dapagliflozin. The doctor may determine this is not the right medicine to treat your condition. DO NOT stop taking your medicine if you are treated for any of these disorders without talking to your doctor.

• Allergy to dapagliflozin
• Drink alcohol
• Bladder infection
• Cancer
• Kidney disease
• Heart problems
• Liver disease
• Low blood pressure
• Low salt diet
• Pancreas problems
• Type 1 diabetes

Dapagliflozin can cause lactic acidosis - too much acid in the bloodstream – it’s temporary, but uncomfortable instigating muscle aches, dizziness, stomach pain or nausea. When starting new forms of treatment you need to understand the complications and consequences to your health. You will have higher risks to side effects if any of these conditions exist.

• If you are 65 or older
• If you suffer from dehydration
• If you are scheduled for x-rays or a CT scan using an injected dye – you may need to stop taking this medication.

Dosage

Following your doctor’s instructions or the directions on the medicine packaging will get you the best results from this medical treatment. It’s important to take your medications exactly as prescribed because it increases the chances of improving your health with fewer side effects or adverse reactions. Before you start your treatment, talk to your doctor and find out how long before you feel better.

The doctor will tell you the best time to take your medicine. It’s a good idea to keep your doctor updated on how you are feeling, good or bad. If you have concerns, ask questions. Health professionals can't help if they don’t know what’s wrong.

Once your diagnosis is complete, the doctor will decide the best route for treatment. You need to participant in taking care of your health, by learning about the medication and how to avoid the harmful side effects.

• Use the medication for the prescribed health condition only.
• DO NOT share this medicine with anyone else – even if they have similar symptoms.
• Each of us responds differently and there may be harmful reactions.

The dose will vary from person to person. The dosage is determined according to your condition and the duration needed for this medicine to sustain your health. The measure of medicine is dependent on the strength of the medicine prescribed for you. The frequency is based on the strength of the medicine necessary for recovery.

Follow your doctor’s directions – DO NOT change the dosage or the frequency unless your doctor tells you to do so. If you have any questions regarding your conditions or this medicine – ask your doctor.

Dapagliflozin is prescribed in 5 milligrams (mg) or 10 mg tablets. The doctor may start you at the lower dosage, monitoring the reactions to the medication before increasing the dose to control the blood sugar condition.

For type 2 diabetes

Adults

• Starting doses - 5 mg once a day- taken each morning

Children

• The doctor will determine the dose based on the child’s age, weight and severity of the condition.

Health Issues

• If you are pregnant, your doctor will adjust the dose.
• Your doctor may discontinue this medication if you are in the second or third trimester of pregnancy.
• Changes in diet, physical and mental health will affect your response to this medicine.
• Be aware stress, fever, infection, injury and surgery affect blood levels.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take your medicine as soon as possible. Continue with your normal schedule and prescribed dosage.

If you missed a full day’s dosage, DO NOT double the dose to make up for the missed dose. It may cause an overdose reaction - these can be harmful. If you experience an accidental overdose be sure to contact your doctor immediately.

Interactions

The benefits of medicine also carry risks of unwanted or unexpected interactions when we use them. The best results are received with good management against the risks. It starts by following your doctor’s instructions and learning how to recognize signs or symptoms of serious interactions while taking this medicine.

Some interactions are more discomfort in nature; others can be life-threatening. Before starting this treatment, be sure you understand the risks associated with this medicine and your own health. Make sure your doctors and dentist are aware you are taking this medicine – it may alter the results of certain medical tests delivering inaccurate data.

You need to understand the cause of this health condition and your doctor’s reasons for choosing this medication as treatment. Here's list of medications known to interact with dapagliflozin.

• Atenolol
• Balofloxacin
• Bisoprolol
• Carteolol
• Carvedilol
• Ciprofloxacin
• Clioquinol
• Dexbrompheniramine
• Enoxacin
• Esmolol
• Fleroxacin
• Gemifloxacin
• Hydrocortisone
• Labetalol
• Levofloxacin
• Lomefloxacin
• Metipranolol
• Moxifloxacin
• Nadifloxacin
• Nadolol
• Norfloxacin
• Octreotide
• Ofloxacin
• Oxprenolol
• Pazufloxacin
• Pefloxacin
• Penbutolol
• Practolol
• Pramoxine topical
• Propranolol
• Prulifloxacin
• Pseudoephedrine
• Rufloxacin
• Sotalol
• Sparfloxacin
• Thioctic Acid
• Tosufloxacin

This list includes known diseases that interact with this medicine. There may be others, since SGLT-2 inhibitors like dapagliflozin have increased LDL cholesterol levels, adding to your risks for a heart attack.

Your doctor will monitor your overall health, blood levels and other health conditions when taking this medication. Depending on the evaluation, adjustments of doses or another medicine may be recommended, if you are undergoing treatment for any of the disorders.

• Bladder Cancer
• Hyperlipidemia
• Hypotension
• Renal Dysfunction

Warnings

FDA is responsible for protecting the public health. It’s done through regular postings, notifying consumers, medical health professionals and associated organizations doing research based on science about the impacts of medications when making a health determination.

• In June 2016, the FDA posted notices about the risk of acute kidney injury for type 2 diabetes.

Additional reports included occurrences within one month after starting treatment for patients over the age of 65. Symptoms included dehydration, low blood pressure and treatment with other medicines for kidney ailments.

Approvals

Dapagliflozin was one of the inhibitors cited with recommendations to decrease the risk associated with type 2 diabetes. Depending on other factors such as the individual’s age, health status and existing health ailments risk of side effects ranged from mild to serious.

If you experience symptoms or uncomfortable side effects, contact your doctor at once. DO NOT stop taking your prescribed medication it can lead to uncontrollable blood sugar levels with harmful results.

Pregnancy Warnings

Dapagliflozin is classified as a FDA pregnancy category C and it should not be taken during second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Clinical studies of animals reported increased fetal malformation or irreversible damage. Although no incidents related to human fetuses have been reported, the findings warrant safety precautions against this drug if you are pregnant.

Breastfeeding

The effect on infants is unknown. Your doctor may recommend discontinuing treatment of dapagliflozin if you choose to breastfeed. A precaution associated with the duration of the mother’s use of dapagliflozin involves passing on traces of this medication through the breast milk.

• Blood and urine tests may help medical professionals prevent the side effects and reduce the risks for the infant and the mother.

Geriatric

Precautions exist for all ages, but the elderly are found to be more susceptible to diseases as a matter of natural aging. Medical and health histories play a role in cardiovascular events for this segment of the population. Using dapagliflozin showed no increase in risks when health disorders were monitored leading to the conclusion this medicine may benefit this group.

Pediatrics

Although this medication has been successful with older individuals, precautions and detailed discussions with your child’s doctor need to take place before starting treatment.

• There are no established guidelines for safety on this medication pertaining to pediatric type 2 diabetes.

Storage

Store this medication in a closed container at room temperature, away from direct light, heat and moisture. DO NOT freeze it.

• Keep it out of reach of children and pets – unintended accidents can cause serious health consequences.
• Be sure to dispose of medications no longer needed or outdated – check the label for the expiration date.
• DO NOT flush or discard this medicine in the household trash. Your pharmacist or doctor can help with the disposal.

Summary

Dapagliflozin has shown to have effective short-term treatment results. It is important to be aware of the ingredients and the effects of different medicines you take regularly. As we age, our body changes and the introduction of different medicines can cause unwanted or harmful drug reactions. The more you understand about how your body reacts to this medicine will help you reduce the risks and increase the health benefits.

Resources
Last Reviewed:
February 02, 2018
Last Updated:
January 27, 2018