Farxiga's Side Effects: What to Know

Medically Reviewed By Alex Brewer, PharmD, MBA

Farxiga: Introduction

Farxiga is a brand-name prescription drug. It’s a type of medication called a sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) and contains the active drug dapagliflozin. It comes as a tablet and is taken by mouth.

Farxiga is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat type 2 diabetes in adults. Doctors also prescribe Farxiga to reduce certain risks in people with type 2 diabetes, heart failure, or kidney disease. Farxiga is typically used long term regardless of the condition it’s prescribed to treat.

Similar to other drugs, Farxiga may cause side effects. Read below for information about possible side effects, including common, mild, and serious ones.

For a general overview of Farxiga, including details about its uses, see this article.

If you’d like to take Farxiga, search here to find a healthcare professional who might prescribe it.

Farxiga: More common side effects

Some of Farxiga’s side effects (also called adverse effects) may be more common than others. These side effects may last a few days or weeks. However, some side effects may last longer or become severe or bothersome. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have concerns about any side effects with Farxiga.

In Farxiga’s clinical studies, these were some of the side effects that occurred more often:

* For more information about this side effect, see “Farxiga: Side effects explained” below.

Farxiga: Mild side effects

Farxiga can cause mild side effects, which are listed below. However, this list doesn’t include all possible mild side effects. To learn more about Farxiga’s side effects, view the drug’s prescribing information.

Farxiga’s mild side effects include:

The side effects listed above may last only a few days to weeks. However, some side effects may last longer or become severe or bothersome. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have concerns about side effects with Farxiga.

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

* For more information about this side effect, see “Farxiga: Side effects explained” below.

Farxiga: Serious side effects

It’s possible to have serious side effects with Farxiga. Serious side effects are listed below, but this list may not include all possibilities. To learn more about Farxiga’s side effects, view the drug’s prescribing information.

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects with Farxiga. However, if you think you’re having a medical emergency or have life threatening side effects, call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious side effects of Farxiga and their possible symptoms include:

  • Serious urinary tract infection. Symptoms can include:
    • burning feeling when urinating
    • urinating often or having urinary urgency
    • blood in the urine
    • fever
    • back or abdominal pain
    • nausea or vomiting
  • Ketoacidosis (a serious condition related to diabetes). Symptoms can include:
    • nausea or vomiting
    • abdominal pain
    • feeling tired
    • trouble breathing
  • Dehydration. Symptoms can include:
    • dizziness
    • weakness
    • feeling faint or lightheaded
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Symptoms can include:
    • headache
    • shaking
    • feeling irritable
    • fast heartbeat
    • weakness
    • tiredness
    • confusion
    • dizziness
    • hunger
  • Kidney infection. Symptoms may include:
    • fever
    • pain in the upper abdomen, sides, or back
    • nausea or vomiting
    • burning feeling when urinating
    • urinating more often than usual or having urinary urgency
  • Fournier’s gangrene, which is a type of necrotizing fasciitis (death of soft tissue) that affects the area between the anus and genitals. Symptoms may include:
    • fever
    • feeling weak or tired
    • malaise (general discomfort)
    • pain or tenderness of the perineum
    • swelling or discoloration of the perineum
  • Severe allergic reaction.*

* For more information about this side effect, see “Farxiga: Side effects explained” below.

Farxiga: Common questions about side effects

Here are some common questions about Farxiga’s side effects and their answers. Talk with your doctor if you have other questions about this drug.

Do Farxiga’s side effects vary depending on whether I take the 5-mg or the 10-mg strength?

No, Farxiga’s side effects don’t vary depending on whether you take the 5-milligram (mg) or 10-mg strength. In clinical studies of people with diabetes, the same side effects were seen in people taking either dose of the drug.

That said, side effects may vary based on the condition you are taking Farxiga to treat. Researchers studied the side effects of Farxiga on people taking it for diabetes, heart failure, and kidney disease. Severe low blood sugar and ketoacidosis were only seen in people taking Farxiga for diabetes.

In addition, you may be at a higher risk for some side effects if you take Farxiga in combination with certain other medications. Low blood sugar only occurred in people taking Farxiga with certain other diabetes medications, such as insulin or a sulfonylurea drug. Low blood sugar wasn’t seen when Farxiga was taken alone.

If you have questions about your risk of side effects given your prescribed dosage, talk with your doctor.

Does Farxiga cause erectile dysfunction?

No, Farxiga doesn’t cause erectile dysfunction (ED). However, some people develop ED because of diabetes. This is called type 2 diabetes-associated ED. It’s a common complication of having diabetes.

Keep in mind that Farxiga is prescribed for certain uses in people with diabetes. 

Another drug in the same class as Farxiga was shown to improve ED symptoms in mice with type 2 diabetes. However, this drug, called empagliflozin (Jardiance), hasn’t been studied in people for this purpose.

If you have questions about Farxiga and ED, talk with your doctor.

Can treatment with Farxiga cause a rash?

A rash can be a symptom of certain side effects of Farxiga. However, the drug isn’t expected to cause a rash as a side effect on its own.

For example, a rash with Farxiga could be caused by a yeast infection, which is a common side effect of Farxiga. (Males* with a yeast infection from Farxiga may have a rash on the penis.) A rash can also occur with allergic reaction to Farxiga.

View the “Farxiga: Side effects explained” section below for more information about these side effects of Farxiga.

If you have a rash with Farxiga, talk with your doctor. They can help determine if the rash is due to an allergy to Farxiga or another side effect. Call your doctor right away if you think you’re having an allergic reaction to Farxiga.

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

Farxiga: Side effects explained

Here’s detailed information about some of Farxiga’s side effects.

Weight loss

Weight loss isn’t a reported side effect of Farxiga. However, in clinical studies, some people lost weight while taking the drug. This may have occurred because the medication helped manage their blood sugar levels.

Keep in mind, weight loss may also occur if Farxiga is taken in combination with other diabetes medications.

That all said, Farxiga isn’t used to cause weight loss.

What to do

Talk with your doctor to learn more about weight loss with Farxiga. Also, let your doctor know if you have concerns about weight loss with the drug. Your doctor can help you manage a weight that’s healthy for you.

Yeast infection

In clinical studies, yeast infection was a relatively common side effect of Farxiga. However, most people who took Farxiga didn’t develop a yeast infection. Yeast infections can occur in both males and females.* These infections are caused by a fungus and can affect the genitals.

Symptoms of a yeast infection may differ between males and females. The following table lists symptoms of yeast infection.

Yeast infection symptoms in females Yeast infection symptoms in males
odor from the vagina discoloration, itching, or swelling of the penis
white or yellow discharge from the vagina rash on the penis
itching in and around the vagina discharge with an odor from the penis
  pain in the skin around the penis

While yeast infections are more common in females, males can also have yeast infections. If you’ve had yeast infections in the past, you may be more likely to have an infection with Farxiga.

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

What to do

Because yeast infections are common with Farxiga, your doctor or pharmacist will tell you what symptoms to expect. If you have symptoms of a yeast infection, tell your doctor right away. They may prescribe an over-the-counter antifungal medication.

Tell your doctor if your yeast infection symptoms don’t go away with treatment. You might need a longer treatment course with antifungals or a prescription treatment.

Tell your doctor if you have a history of yeast infections before taking Farxiga.

Urinary tract infection

Farxiga can cause a urinary tract infection (UTI). Sometimes UTIs with Farxiga can become serious. Both males and females* can have a UTI with Farxiga.

Symptoms of a UTI include:

  • burning sensation when urinating
  • needing to urinate often
  • needing to urinate immediately
  • pain in the lower belly
  • blood in the urine

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

What to do

Tell your doctor if you have a history of UTIs before taking Farxiga. If you have a UTI with Farxiga, call your doctor. You may need a prescription antibiotic to treat the infection.

Untreated UTIs can cause a more serious infection in the kidneys or a serious condition called sepsis.

Common cold

The common cold is another common side effect of Farxiga. You may have a stuffy or runny nose and a sore throat. Other symptoms of the common cold include coughing, sneezing, and headache. The common cold isn’t a serious side effect of Farxiga.

What to do

Symptoms of the common cold usually disappear with time. You may not need treatment if you have the common cold with Farxiga. If your symptoms don’t disappear in a few days, talk with your doctor to see if you’ll need treatment.

You can prevent the common cold by washing your hands often and avoiding touching your face, eyes, and nose.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Farxiga. A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible.

Possible symptoms of mild and serious allergic reactions are listed in the table below.

Mild allergic reaction symptoms Serious allergic reaction symptoms
• itching trouble breathing
rash • swelling in your throat or mouth
flushing • swelling under your skin, possibly in your hands, feet, lips, or eyelids
• hives  

If you have an allergic reaction to Farxiga, call your doctor right away. This is important because the reaction could become severe.

However, if you’re having a medical emergency or your symptoms feel life threatening, call 911 or your local emergency number.

Farxiga: Precautions

Be sure to talk with your doctor about your health history before taking Farxiga. This drug may not be the right treatment option if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health.

The conditions and factors to consider include those described below.

Type 1 diabetes. Farxiga should not be used to manage blood sugar levels in people with type 1 diabetes. This is because they are at higher risk for ketoacidosis as a side effect from Farxiga. Talk with your doctor about safer treatments if you have type 1 diabetes.

Kidney problems or kidney failure. If you have kidney problems (such as chronic kidney disease) or kidney failure, talk with your doctor before taking Farxiga. People with type 2 diabetes and kidney problems, including kidney failure, who are taking Farxiga have a higher risk of low blood pressure. In addition, people with kidney problems may have worsened kidney function with Farxiga if they experience dehydration. In a clinical study of people with moderate kidney problems who took Farxiga, some experienced bone fractures. Due to the risks of taking Farxiga with kidney failure, doctors typically will not prescribe this drug if you’re receiving dialysis treatment.

History of yeast infections. If you have a history of yeast infections, you’re more likely to have a yeast infection with Farxiga. Tell your doctor if you’ve had yeast infections in the past.

History of urinary tract infections. If you have a history of urinary tract infections (UTIs), you may have an increased risk of UTIs with Farxiga. UTIs with Farxiga may be serious if left untreated. Tell your doctor if you’ve had urinary tract infections in the past.

Pancreas problems or pancreatic surgery. Before taking Farxiga, tell your doctor if you’ve had pancreatitis or pancreatic surgery. These factors can increase a person’s risk of having ketoacidosis with Farxiga. Ketoacidosis is a serious and life threatening side effect of Farxiga. Without treatment, ketoacidosis can be very dangerous.

Surgery. Major stressors on your body, such as having surgery, can affect your blood sugar. If you’re diabetic, having surgery may change how much diabetes medication you need. Before taking Farxiga or during treatment with it, tell your doctor if you need to have surgery. They may tell you to temporarily stop taking Farxiga. Your doctor will tell you when you can start taking Farxiga after surgery.

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

Consuming alcohol during Farxiga treatment

Farxiga isn’t known to interact with alcohol. If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it’s safe for you to drink while taking Farxiga. Your doctor may ask you how often and how much alcohol you drink.

Drinking alcohol often or in large amounts can be dangerous with Farxiga. Alcohol misuse can increase the risk of ketoacidosis with Farxiga. (This is a serious side effect of the drug.)

Pregnancy and breastfeeding during Farxiga treatment

Farxiga isn’t safe to use in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. That said, having diabetes that’s not well managed during pregnancy can cause serious effects to the pregnant person and fetus. Keep in mind that Farxiga is prescribed for certain uses in people with diabetes.

If you’re pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, talk with your doctor before taking Farxiga. Your doctor can recommend a safe treatment option for you.

You should not use Farxiga if you’re breastfeeding. In the first two years of a child’s life, their kidneys are still developing. Exposure to Farxiga through breast milk may affect kidney development in a breastfed child.

If you’re breastfeeding or considering breastfeeding, talk with your doctor.

Farxiga: What to discuss with your doctor

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist for additional information about Farxiga. If you have questions about the drug’s side effects, your pharmacist or healthcare professional can help answer them.

In addition to discussing Farxiga with your doctor, you may find the following articles helpful in learning more.

Disclaimer: Healthgrades 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.

Medical Reviewer: Alex Brewer, PharmD, MBA
Last Review Date: 2022 Jul 21
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.