Farxiga (dapagliflozin) is a prescription brand-name medication. It’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to:

  • improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes
  • lower the risk of hospitalization for heart failure in certain adults who have type 2 diabetes, heart failure, or chronic kidney disease
  • lower the risk of death from a heart or blood vessel problem in certain adults with heart failure or chronic kidney disease
  • help prevent worsening kidney function in certain adults with chronic kidney disease

If Farxiga works for you, your doctor will likely recommend that you take it long term.

Here are some fast facts about Farxiga:

Like other drugs, Farxiga can cause side effects (also called adverse effects). Read on to learn about potential common, mild, and serious side effects. For a general overview of Farxiga, including details about its uses, see this article.

Farxiga can cause certain side effects, some of which are more common than others. These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. But if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

These are just a few of the more common side effects reported by people who took Farxiga in clinical trials:

* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term “female” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.

Mild side effects can occur with Farxiga use. This list doesn’t include all possible mild side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Farxiga’s prescribing information.

Mild side effects that have been reported with Farxiga include:

These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. But if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks side effects of the medication. If you develop a side effect while taking Farxiga and want to tell the FDA about it, visit MedWatch.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effect specifics” section below.

Farxiga may cause some rare but serious side effects. The list below may not include all possible serious side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Farxiga’s prescribing information.

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

Serious side effects that have been reported and their symptoms include:

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effect specifics” section below.

Farxiga may cause several side effects. Here are some frequently asked questions about the drug’s side effects and their answers.

Does the risk of side effects from Farxiga vary depending on the tablet strength (5 mg or 10 mg)?

No, the risk of Farxiga’s side effects doesn’t usually depend on what strength tablet you take.

Some medications have a higher risk of side effects when higher doses are used. But in general, this is not the case with Farxiga. In clinical trials of the drug, most side effects occurred at similar rates with the 5-milligram (mg) tablet and the 10-mg tablet.

Increased urination and dehydration were slightly more common with the 10-mg tablet than the 5-mg tablet. Farxiga helps remove sugar, sodium, and fluid from your body through urine.

When you take a higher strength, there is more drug present to help your body get rid of these substances than with a lower strength. So, you may produce more urine and lose more fluid with the 10-mg strength. But most other side effects were about as common with the 10-mg tablet as with the 5-mg tablet.

Other factors are more likely to affect your risk for side effects than the strength of Farxiga you take. These factors include health history and other medications you take.

Keep in mind that you will only take the 5-mg tablet as a starting dose to improve your blood sugar levels if you have type 2 diabetes. If you take Farxiga for any other reasons, your doctor will typically prescribe the 10-mg tablet.

Can Farxiga cause weight loss? Is Farxiga used for weight loss?

Farxiga can cause weight loss, but the drug is not approved for weight loss.

Farixga helps your body to get rid of excess sugar. This reduces the amount of sugar your body stores as fat. Because of this, some people may lose weight while taking Farxiga. Weight loss can improve your blood sugar levels, so this can be helpful for people with type 2 diabetes.

Farixga may also help prevent certain complications that type 2 diabetes can cause, including heart, kidney, and nerve problems.

However, Farxiga is not prescribed specifically for weight loss. If you’re interested in taking medication specifically for weight loss, talk with your doctor.

Is hair loss a side effect of Farxiga?

No, hair loss is not a known side effect of Farxiga. Hair loss was not reported in clinical trials of Farxiga. And it has not been reported in people taking Farxiga since the medication was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

However, some people with type 2 diabetes (which Farxiga also treats) may experience hair loss or hair thinning due to their condition.

If you have hair loss that bothers you, talk with your doctor. They can investigate a possible cause and suggest ways to help manage it.

Can taking Farxiga cause erectile dysfunction?

No, erectile dysfunction is not a known side effect of Farxiga. Erectile dysfunction was not reported in clinical trials of Farxiga. And it has not been reported in people taking Farxiga since the FDA approved the medication.

However, erectile dysfunction is common in males* with type 2 diabetes, which Farxiga treats. Erectile dysfunction might be caused by your diabetes or by other medications that you take. For example, many people with diabetes also take medications for high blood pressure. And some of these medications can cause erectile dysfunction.

If you have symptoms of erectile dysfunction, be sure to discuss them with your doctor. Erectile dysfunction is a common condition, and there are plenty of treatments available.

* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term “male” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.

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

Constipation

Farxiga may cause constipation. Farxiga increases urination, so to make up for the extra loss of fluid, your body may reabsorb more water from your intestines. This can make your stools drier, harder, and more difficult to pass.

Constipation was a common side effect reported in clinical trials of Farxiga.

People who are constipated usually have fewer than three bowel movements per week. Other symptoms may include:

  • passing dry, hard stools
  • pain and discomfort during bowel movements
  • feeling that the bowel has not fully emptied
  • loss of appetite
  • a slightly bloated or swollen abdomen

What you can do

To help avoid and treat constipation while you’re taking Farxiga, it’s important to drink plenty of water* and exercise regularly. Also, eat plenty of fiber, such as pulses (beans, lentils, and peas), fresh fruit and vegetables, and wheat bran or wholewheat products.

If you have constipation that does not improve with the above methods, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may recommend using an over-the-counter laxative. Examples of these include:

  • bisacodyl (Dulcolax)
  • docusate (Colace, DulcoEase)
  • methylcellulose (Citrucel)
  • magnesium citrate (Citroma)
  • psyllium (Metamucil, Konsyl)
  • senna (Senokot)

You should also talk with your doctor if you have constipation that lasts longer than 2 weeks.

* Drinking plenty of water can also help prevent urinary tract infections and dehydration, which are other side effects of Farxiga. Talk with your doctor about how much water you should aim to drink every day.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, Farxiga can cause an allergic reaction in some people. But this was rare in clinical trials.

Symptoms can be mild or serious and can include:

  • skin rash
  • itching
  • flushing
  • swelling under your skin, typically in your lips, eyelids, feet, or hands
  • swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe

What you can do

For mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, call your doctor right away. They may recommend ways to ease your symptoms and determine whether you should keep taking Farxiga. But if your symptoms are serious and you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

Dehydration

Farxiga can sometimes cause dehydration because the medication causes you to urinate more.

Dehydration can lead to other problems, such as low blood pressure. Although rare, severe dehydration can lead to acute kidney failure. (“Acute” means sudden.)

Symptoms of dehydration can include:

You’re more likely to have dehydration with Farxiga if you’re age 65 years or older, have kidney problems, or are on a low salt diet. Taking medications called diuretics can also increase your risk of this side effect. Diuretics are often used to treat heart failure, which Farxiga also treats.

What you can do

To help avoid dehydration while taking Farxiga, be sure to drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids, such as water. Talk with your doctor about how much water you should aim to drink every day. Drinking water can also help prevent constipation and urinary tract infections, which are other possible side effects of Farxiga.

It’s especially important to stay hydrated in hot weather, when exercising, and if you have diarrhea or vomiting. In these situations, you can lose more fluids than usual. Talk with your doctor if you can’t keep fluids down due to vomiting, or if you have diarrhea that lasts longer than a few days.

If you have symptoms of dehydration while taking Farxiga, talk with your doctor right away. They can help recommend ways to ease your condition.

Genital yeast infection

Taking Farxiga can increase the risk for genital yeast infections. Farxiga works by helping your body get rid of excess sugar in your urine. But yeast feeds off sugar, and the extra sugar in your genital area can cause yeast to overgrow, leading to infection. Other names for genital yeast infections include thrush and candidiasis.

In clinical trials, genital yeast infections were common in people using Farxiga. These infections were more common in females* than in males* who took the medication. They were also more common in people who had yeast infections in the past.

Symptoms of genital yeast infections in females may include:

  • vaginal discharge that’s thick, white, and clumpy but doesn’t usually smell
  • irritation, burning, itching, or soreness of the vagina or vulva
  • pain when urinating or having sex

Symptoms of genital yeast infections in males can include:

  • irritation, soreness, burning, or itching around the head of the penis and under the foreskin (if present)
  • pain when urinating or having sex
  • blotchy rash with white patches around the head of the penis
  • trouble pulling back the foreskin (if present)
  • discharge from the penis that’s thick, white, and smells unpleasant

Keep in mind that yeast infections are also common in people with diabetes whose blood sugar levels aren’t well-controlled.

* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the terms “male” and “female” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.

What you can do

To help reduce your risk for genital yeast infections, you’re advised to:

  • avoid wearing tight-fitting pants, leggings, tights, and underwear
  • wear loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibers, such as cotton, linen, or silk
  • promptly change wet clothing such as swimwear and clothing you’ve exercised in
  • eat natural yogurt or take supplements with lactobacillus to boost healthy bacteria in your genital area
  • frequently change menstrual products, such as tampons
  • avoid vaginal douching
  • avoid using perfumed products on your genitals

If you have symptoms of a genital yeast infection, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about treatment options. Some treatments are available over the counter. These include clotrimazole cream, clotrimazole vaginal cream (Trivagizole), and miconazole cream or pessaries (Monistat).

Treatments that your doctor may prescribe include:

  • butoconazole vaginal cream (Gynazol-1)
  • fluconazole tablet (Diflucan) taken as a single dose
  • terconazole cream or pessaries (vaginal suppositories)

If your symptoms do not ease with these treatment options, talk with your doctor. They may suggest different yeast infection medications or treatments. If you continue to get yeast infections, your doctor may recommend a drug other than Farxiga to treat your condition.

Be sure to talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Farxiga. This drug may not be the right treatment for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. The conditions and factors to consider include:

Kidney problems. If you have kidney problems, such as chronic kidney disease, talk with your doctor before starting treatment with Farxiga. This drug increases your risk for dehydration,* which can lead to low blood pressure and kidney failure. It is important to drink plenty of fluids to avoid these problems.

Due to the way the drug works, Farxiga is unlikely to be effective if you have severe kidney problems or are having dialysis treatment. Your doctor will likely not prescribe Farxiga in these situations. Talk with your doctor about what other medications may be better options for you.

History of urinary tract infection (UTI). Taking Farxiga can raise your risk for urinary tract infection (UTI). In rare cases, UTIs in people taking Farxiga can be serious. If you have a history of UTIs, you may be at higher risk for this side effect. Talk with your doctor about whether Farxiga is right for you.

Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction* to Farxiga or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Farxiga. Talk with your doctor about what other medications may be better options for you.

High cholesterol. If you have high cholesterol, Farxiga may worsen your condition. Talk with your doctor about whether Farxiga is right for you.

History of pancreatitis. If you have type 2 diabetes and have had pancreatitis in the past, Farxiga may increase your risk of ketoacidosis. If you have type 2 diabetes and a history of pancreatitis, talk with your doctor about whether Farxiga is right for you.

Planned surgeries. If you have type 2 diabetes and take Farxiga, having surgery can increase your risk of a serious side effect called ketoacidosis. If you have type 2 diabetes and have surgery scheduled, talk with your doctor about whether you should pause your Farxiga use beforehand. Your doctor will also explain when you can start retaking Farxiga after your surgery.

Other medications. If you take certain other medications, herbs, or supplements, you may have an increased risk of certain side effects with Farxiga. Talk with your doctor about all the medications, herbs, and supplements you take before starting treatment with Farxiga.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effect specifics” section above.

Alcohol use with Farxiga

It’s recommended that you limit the amount of alcohol you drink while taking Farxiga. Drinking alcohol can increase the risk of certain side effects of Farxiga, such as nausea, increased urination, and dehydration.

If you have diabetes, drinking alcohol can cause changes in your blood sugar levels. This can increase your risk for side effects, including low blood sugar and ketoacidosis. It may also cause Farxiga not to work as well.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about how much is safe for you to consume while taking Farxiga.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding while taking Farxiga

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, your doctor will likely recommend that you do not take Farxiga.

Farxiga is not recommended during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy because animal studies suggest it may have harmful effects on the fetus. It is not known if Farxiga is safe to take in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Talk with your doctor about other medications that are more suitable for use during pregnancy. This is especially important if you have type 2 diabetes. If your diabetes isn’t well managed during pregnancy, this can also have harmful effects on the fetus.

It isn’t known if Farxiga passed into breast milk. Because of the risk for potentially serious side effects in a breastfed child, breastfeeding is not recommended if you’re taking Farxiga. Your doctor can recommend other ways to feed your child. Or they can recommend a medication for your condition other than Farxiga.

If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant or breastfeed, talk with your doctor before using Farxiga.

Note: Pregnancy trimester timing for the first trimester is 1–12 weeks. The second trimester is 13–28 weeks, and the third trimester is 29–40 weeks.

Side effects from Farxiga are not particularly common and are usually mild and easily managed. However, some serious side effects are also possible. Talk with your doctor to find out how your health history might affect your risk for side effects with Farxiga.

If you’d like to learn more about Farxiga, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help answer any questions you have about side effects from taking the drug.

Besides talking with your doctor, you can do some research on your own. These articles might help:

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has 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.