Medication Overview

Dapagliflozin Overview: Does It Work for Weight Loss?

Dapagliflozin, primarily used for type 2 diabetes, can potentially aid weight loss by inhibiting kidney glucose reabsorption, albeit with side effects including genital and urinary tract infections, emphasizing the importance of personalized medical advice.


  • Wednesday, May 1, 2024

What is Dapagliflozin?

Dapagliflozin, sold under the brand names Farxiga and Forxiga, among others, was initially approved in 2014 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, It has garnered attention for its potential benefits beyond glycemic control, particularly in the realm of weight management. While primarily known for its antidiabetic properties, dapagliflozin's mechanism of action, which involves inhibiting glucose reabsorption in the kidneys, has led researchers to explore its efficacy in promoting weight loss among non-diabetic individuals.

How Does It Work?

As an inhibitor of the sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2), dapagliflozin works by increasing the excretion of glucose in the urine, thereby lowering blood sugar levels. However, its ability to induce a negative energy balance by promoting the loss of excess glucose through urine has piqued interest in its potential as a weight loss agent. Beyond its direct impact on glucose metabolism, dapagliflozin may exert additional effects that contribute to weight loss. These include increased fat oxidation, reduced appetite, and modest improvements in insulin sensitivity, all of which can facilitate the loss of body fat and maintenance of a healthy weight.

What Are the Side Effects?

According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), the most common side effects of dapagliflozin are:

  • Thrush, a fungal infection caused by yeast
  • Back pain
  • Peeing more than normal
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Mild skin rash

Serious side effects of dapagliflozin are rare and happen in less than 1 in 10,000 people. If you dig into studies of dapagliflozin, you may find serious side effects more common. This is due to the prevalence of comorbidities in diabetic individuals — when other variables are controlled, there is little difference between serious events in placebo groups and dapagliflozin groups.

How Do You Use It?

For the purposes of weight loss, dapagliflozin is typically administered orally, with the typical starting dose being 10 mg once daily. This dosage may vary depending on individual factors such as renal function and tolerability. However, it's important to note that the use of dapagliflozin for weight loss in individuals without diabetes is currently off-label, meaning it is not specifically approved by regulatory agencies for this indication. Therefore, dosing and administration should be discussed with a healthcare provider to ensure safe and appropriate use.

What Does The Research Say?

A study done in 2012 focused on the specific effects on weight in a 24 week, international, multicenter, randomized, parallel-group, double-blind, placebo-controlled study at 40 sites in five countries. The participants of the study only included individuals that were taking metformin and seeing inadequate results. They found that individuals taking dapagliflozin lost an average of 2.08kg more kilograms than the placebo group, with 30.5% of people losing 5% or more of their body weight, compared to 4.3% of the placebo group.

While statistically significant and more effective than both placebo and metformin in this population of people, dapagliflozin has been recently overtaken by newer, more effective weight loss medications called GLP-1s. Some of these new medications have seen weight loss averages of 15% or more, like Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro.

Thinking About Patients

‍Before considering dapagliflozin for weight loss, it's crucial to have a discussion with your healthcare provider – perhaps even at a welcoming place like MD Exam! By completing a simple questionnaire, you can share your medical history, enabling the team to create a personalized weight loss plan for you. Consistent with research, we have seen medications like Ozempic and Mounjaro show the most success, so we often value these over dapagliflozin. Healthcare professionals, like the MD Exam team, play a pivotal role in understanding overall health, devising personalized treatment plans, and explaining the potential risks and benefits.

Navigating Dapagliflozin

‍Conversations with healthcare providers, such as those at MD Exam, ensure you receive sound advice and make informed decisions about incorporating phentermine into your weight-loss strategy. As we continue to uncover the secrets of dapagliflozin's weight-loss journey, as well as other GLP-1s, it opens up new possibilities for a healthier, happier you.

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