Brenzavvy for Type 2 Diabetes
What is Brenzavvy and How Does It Work?
Brenzavvy is a medication designed to improve glycemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes. It works alongside diet and exercise regimens to achieve this goal. The active ingredient in Brenzavvy is bexagliflozin, which belongs to a drug class called sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors.
The primary mechanism of Brenzavvy's action involves increasing the elimination of sugar through urine. It does so by preventing the reabsorption of sugars by the kidneys, leading to the excretion of excess sugars in urine. The result is a reduction in blood sugar levels and a lower A1C, which reflects the average glucose levels over the past three months.
It's essential to note that Brenzavvy is exclusively intended for individuals with type 2 diabetes and is not suitable for those with type 1 diabetes or those experiencing diabetic ketoacidosis, a severe complication associated with uncontrolled diabetes. This medication offers a factual approach to managing type 2 diabetes effectively.
Common Side Effects of Brenzavvy
Brenzavvy may cause several side effects, primarily stemming from increasing sugar excretion in urine. This elevation in sugar levels within the urinary tract can create an environment for bacteria and yeast growth, potentially leading to infections.
- Genital Fungal (Yeast) Infections (THe risk is higher in women than men)
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Increased Urination (frequency and volume)
Weight Effects of Brenzavvy
Many people wonder if certain type 2 diabetes medications can help with weight loss. Some of these medications, like SGLT2 inhibitors, can indeed lead to weight loss, although not as dramatically as some others. In clinical trials, Brenzavvy has demonstrated only a modest impact on body weight.
In studies involving adults with type 2 diabetes, those who took Brenzavvy 20 mg experienced an average reduction in body weight of 4 to 8 pounds after 24 weeks of treatment. In comparison, participants who received a placebo in the same studies saw an average reduction in body weight of up to 3 pounds.
It's important to know that this weight reduction is a side effect of the medication and is not an FDA-approved use of Brenzavvy. Therefore, Brenzavvy is not recommended for weight loss purposes; it is specifically designed for the approved treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Understanding the Risks of Brenzavvy
Many people with type 2 diabetes are interested in medications that can potentially help with weight loss. Some SGLT2 inhibitors are known to have this side effect, although it may not be as pronounced as with other medications. However, it's important to note that during clinical trials assessing the efficacy and safety of Invokana, it did not demonstrate any significant impact on weight.
Warnings About Taking Brenzavvy
As this medication makes changes to the body, it comes with rare but dangerous risks.
These risks include:
- Low blood sugar (Hypoglycemia)
When used in combination with other diabetes medications like insulin or sulfonylureas, Brenzavvy can lower blood sugar levels too much, causing hypoglycemia.
Ketoacidosis is a rare condition that occurs when your blood becomes too acidic because of a build-up of “ketones”. This happens when your body can’t use sugars for energy, and instead starts using up fat, which breaks down to ketones. This causes the blood to be very acidic and is dangerous if not treated quickly.
- Lower limb amputations
Benzavvy use is associated with a slightly higher risk of lower-limb amputations in individuals with risk factors for or established heart disease. This risk is generally higher for those with a history of amputation, peripheral vascular disease, or neuropathy. It’s also important to monitor any changes while taking the medication, such as pain or sores on the lower limbs.
- Fluid Volume Decrease
In some cases, Brenzavvy may lead to a decrease in body fluids, potentially causing low blood pressure. This is of particular concern for individuals with impaired kidney function, older individuals, and those taking loop diuretics.
- Necrotizing Fasciitis
Rarely, the use of Brenzavvy has been associated with a serious skin infection called necrotizing fasciitis in the genital area. This infection can be severe, requiring hospitalization and sometimes resulting in death. Any redness, tenderness, or swelling in the genital region while taking Brenzavvy should be promptly assessed by a healthcare provider.
- Brenzavvy (bexagliflozin) tablets, for oral use. Food and Drug Administration. (2023; Revised 01/2023). Retrieved October 8, 2023, from https://www.accessdata.fda.govv