The FDA recently granted new use for diabetes drug Farxiga. There are 30 million people living with type 2 diabetes in the U.S. Heart failure, before heart attack or stroke, is one of the earliest cardiovascular complications for them. But there is new hope now.
Recent research shows that the diabetes drug Farxiga can reduce the risk of hospitalization for heart failure in adults who have type 2 diabetes and established heart disease or risk factors for it.
Farxiga is a drug that lowers blood sugar by making the kidneys remove sugar from the body via the urine. The drug helps control diabetes and reduces the risk of other diabetes-related complications. Now, with the new FDA approval, doctors are also using it to reducing hospitalizations from heart failure.
What the study of Farxiga showed
The FDA granted the new use for Farxiga based on the results of a new study. In that study, more than 17,000 patients with type 2 diabetes and heart disease or at risk for heart disease were randomly assigned to get either the medication or placebo. Researches followed these patients for more than 4 years.
The results? People treated with Farxiga were 27% less likely to be hospitalized for heart failure than patients given placebo. There were no differences found in rates of heart attack, stroke or deaths from heart disease. While, the benefit is modest, it’s still a benefit.
But it’s not all smooth sailing. There are possible side effects for people who take Farxiga. These include low blood pressure, kidney injury, very low blood sugar, and genital yeast infections and urinary tract infections. UTIs are common because Farxiga removes extra sugar into the urine.
The list price of Farxiga is about $500 for a 30-day supply. Health insurance, coupons, assistance programs and other factors may reduce those costs. If you’re a diabetes patient and think that Farxiga could help you, make an appointment to discuss this with your doctor.
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