Type 2 diabetes: an oral drug that can protect against heart failure and lower blood sugar

Dapagliflozin (Farxiga) is an SGLT2 inhibitor, given in pill form for people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, used along with diet and exercise and sometimes with other medications. It works by causing the kidneys to secrete more sugar into the urine. According to a study published in October 2018 in the journal cardiovascular Diabetology, The drug is also useful in treating heart failure, a complication of type 2 diabetes.

Heart failure occurs when the left side of the heart it cannot take blood from the lungs and send it quickly enough to the rest of the body.

The heart is made up of muscle tissue that grows when stressed. The ingrowth of this muscle creates a smaller space to accommodate blood flowing from the lungs. This causes the heart to fail, filling the lungs with fluid from the blood.

In 2017, an estimated 26 million people worldwide had heart failure. In type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar levels damage the heart and blood vessels, and can lead to high blood pressure. Lowering your blood pressure reading to a healthy level is vital to reduce the strain on your heart. Heart attacks may not cause chest pain in people with type 2 diabetes because nerve damage reduces sensation. That makes heart disease prevention even more imperative.

Researchers at Kobe University and several other research facilities in Japan looked at 58 people who had type 2 diabetes and who also had heart failure. Dapagliflozin was added to his usual regimen at a dose of 5 mg/day. After six months, the muscle tissue that comprises the left side of the diabetic’s heart decreased in size. Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), a protein secreted by heart cells in response to excessive stretching, decreased in participants whose BNP was extremely high. From this information, the researchers concluded that dapagliflozin might be helpful in improving heart failure in people with type 2 diabetes.

Natriuretic peptide is effective in causing the kidneys to secrete potassium into the kidneys, which lowers blood pressure and the amount of blood in the heart and blood vessels.

Dapagliflozin is administered once daily, with or without food. It is prescribed as part of an overall treatment plan that includes diet and exercise. Side effects include…

  • urinary tract candidiasis,
  • stuffy nose with sore throat,
  • urinating frequently in copious amounts and at night,
  • dizziness or lightheadedness,
  • ketoacidosis (control of ketones in the urine),
  • nausea and vomiting,
  • feeling very tired
  • have difficulty breathing
  • abdominal pain, and
  • kidney injury

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