Farxiga – A New Medication for Heart Failure

Farxiga – A New Medication for Heart Failure

By Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD

February 22, 2021

Farxiga

In the fall of 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Farxiga to help lower blood sugar and reduce hospitalization and death due to heart failure in adults with type 2 diabetes.

What Is Heart Failure?

Heart failure occurs when your heart cannot pump out the amount of blood that your body needs. In some types of heart failure, your heart cannot fill up with enough blood to pump out. In other types, your heart cannot pump with enough force to get the blood to the rest of your body. Some people have only one type of heart failure. Others have both.

Your healthcare providers may refer to heart failure as heart failure with reduced ejection fraction or heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Ejection fraction refers to the amount of blood that your heart’s left ventricle (the main pumping chamber) pumps out with each contraction.

If you have reduced ejection fraction, the left ventricle gets bigger and cannot contract properly to pump out sufficient blood to the rest of your body. In preserved ejection fraction, both the right and left ventricles are thicker and stiffer than those of a healthy heart. The chambers are not able to relax properly after a contraction and cannot fill up with enough blood to send out to the rest of the body.

Heart failure is caused by a variety of conditions that damage the heart. Diabetes is one of the major risk factors for heart failure.

What Is Farxiga?

Farxiga is the brand name for dapagliflozin. This medication is used with diet and exercise to help control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Farxiga also reduces the risk of being hospitalized or dying of heart failure if you have type 2 diabetes or heart failure with reduced ejection fraction.

How Does Farxiga Work?

Farxiga lowers your blood sugar by helping your kidneys eliminate glucose through the urine. It improves heart failure via several mechanisms, including helping your kidneys excrete sodium and improving the way your heart contracts and relaxes.

How Do You Take Farxiga?

Farxiga is typically taken once a day in the morning with or without food. Most people with diabetes and heart failure take 10 mg of Farxiga daily. However, your doctor may start your dose at 5 mg daily and determine if you need to increase it to 10 mg daily.

Who Can Take Farxiga?

Farxiga is for adults who have type 2 diabetes or heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. You should not use Farxiga if you have any of the following:

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Severe kidney disease, or you are on dialysis
  • Type 1 diabetes

What Are the Side Effects of Farxiga?

The most common side effects seen with Farxiga include:

  • Increase in urination
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Respiratory infection
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Vaginal yeast infection

This is not a complete list of Farxiga’s side effects. A conversation with your pharmacist will help you understand any side effects you may experience with your medications.

How Much Does Farxiga Cost?

The typical dose of Farxiga is 10 mg once a day. The average retail price for thirty 10 mg Farxiga tablets is about $600. Farxiga is not available in generic form, and some insurance plans may not cover this medication. If your insurance does not cover your Farxiga, you can use a prescription discount card to compare prescription prices and get the lowest price.

How Do Prescription Discount Cards Work?

Prescription drug cards, or prescription savings cards, help you obtain the lowest prescription price for your medication. Sometimes, you may find that your insurance plan does not cover your medication or that the price with insurance is higher than the cost with a prescription savings card. Using prescription savings cards may save you up to 80% or more off the retail price. Be sure to compare prescription prices before filling your prescription. You can use the ScriptSave® WellRx discount card for the best discount at a pharmacy near you.

Rosanna Sutherby is a freelance medical writer who has been a practicing pharmacist in her community for close to 20 years. She obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. She utilizes her clinical training in the pharmacy, where she helps patients manage disease states such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and many others. Dr. Sutherby reviews and recommends drug regimens based on patients’ concurrent conditions and potential drug interactions.

References:

https://www.wellrx.com/FARXIGA/drug-information/

https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/articles/2020/05/06/13/18/fda-approves-farxiga-for-adults-with-hf-with-reduced-ejection-fraction#:~:text=The%20U.S.%20Food%20and%20Drug,and%20hospitalization%20for%20heart%20failure.

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17069-heart-failure-understanding-heart-failure

https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/dapagliflozin-oral-route/description/drg-20095101

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.119.013389

https://www.pdr.net/drug-summary/Farxiga-dapagliflozin-3427.8279#11

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/202293s012lbl.pdf

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