Dapagliflozin is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat type 2 diabetes (long-term condition in which the body gradually becomes resistant to the effects of insulin or the pancreas does not produce enough insulin). It helps treat your diabetes by keeping your blood sugar under control.
This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Dapagliflozin is meant to be taken as part of a complete diabetes care programme that should include exercise, a healthy diet and regular monitoring of blood sugar levels.
Take Dapagliflozin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
It is best to take this medicine in the morning before or after a meal. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Dapagliflozin must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have severe kidney disease or on dialysis as Dapagliflozin may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart disease
- history of low blood pressure
- history of fungal infection in the genital
- severe liver disease
- kidney disease
- type 1 diabetes (long-term condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin)
- diabetic ketoacidosis (complication of diabetes characterised by high level of blood acid in your body)
- problems in your pancreas (e.g. pancreatitis, surgery on your pancreas)
- eating less or change in diet
- stress-related events (e.g. fever, infection, injury, surgery)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving this medicine to the elderly. Elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
Notify your doctor if you consume large amounts of alcohol or if you are a frequent drinker.
If you are going to have an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine.
This medicine may interfere with the results of urine tests for sugar and ketones. Discuss with your doctor how you should monitor your urine tests while taking this medicine.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Routine tests (e.g. sugar levels, kidney function, volume status) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine.
- Regular monitoring of signs of ketoacidosis (e.g. nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, malaise, shortness of breath), fungal infections, and urinary tract infection may also be needed.
Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
If you are taking this medicine with other types of oral anti-diabetic medicines, you may have been warned about hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). This medicine itself does not usually cause hypoglycaemia, but it may increase the hypoglycaemic effect of other oral anti-diabetic medicines.
How do I know if I am experiencing hypoglycaemia?
Hypoglycaemia is the medical term for low blood sugar. Symptoms of hypoglycaemia include dizziness, tremor, shaky hands, feeling hungry, weak or confused, sweating. These signs are your body’s way of warning you that your blood sugar level is low.
It is important to recognise these symptoms and get relief for hypoglycaemia quickly, as the hypoglycaemia may worsen.
What should I do if I am experiencing hypoglycaemia?
Always carry some glucose tablets (also known as dextrose tablets) with you. Take 15 g of glucose tablet at first sign of hypoglycaemia, wait for 15 minutes and re-check your blood sugar level. If you are not feeling better or if your blood sugar level is still low (less than 4 mmol/L or 70 mg/dL), take another 15 g of glucose tablet.
If you don’t have glucose tablets, you may take any of the following:
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) of juice or regular soda (not diet)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey, or corn syrup
- hard candies, jellybeans, or gumdrops (not sugar-free)
Get medical help should symptoms did not improve after second serving.
Dapagliflozin may cause any of the following side effects: back pain, dizziness, nausea, thirst, rash, and frequent urination.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- swelling of the face, eyes or mouth, difficulty swallowing, breathing problems
- rapid weight loss, stomach pain, shortness of breath, excessive thirst, breath with a sweet smell, sweet or metallic taste in your mouth, different odour in urine or sweat
- fever, chills, burning sensation when urinating, blood in the urine
- rapid heartbeat, very dry mouth, passing little or no urine
- pain, tenderness, swelling or redness around the anus or genitals
This medicine may cause you to be more prone to genital infections. Signs and symptoms include genital irritation or itching and an unusual discharge or odour. Maintain good hygiene to reduce the chance of this effect.
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- other medicines for diabetes e.g. insulin, glimepiride, glipizide, glibenclamide
- water pill or medicine for water retention e.g. bumetanide, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide
- medicines for high blood pressure e.g. captopril, valsartan
- NSAIDs (medicine for pain and inflammation) e.g. mefenamic acid, ibuprofen
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Dapagliflozin.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.