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What is Invokana (Canagliflozin)?
Invokana is an oral drug that helps you control your blood sugar levels. It is prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Its common name, or generic version, is Canagliflozin, which belongs to a class of antidiabetic drugs called gliflozins.
What is the drug used for?
It is used together with a healthy diet and regular exercise to help treat type 2 diabetes. It does not help patients who have type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes.
How does this drug work?
Invokana reduces blood sugar levels by increasing the amount of sugar removed from the body through urine. Like other members of the gliflozin family of diabetes drugs, this is achieved by blocking your kidney’s ability to absorb sugar from your blood. Preventing this absorption causes the excess sugar in your blood to be eliminated through your urine. The drug also increases your urination rate, thus clearing more blood sugar from your body.
How to take this diabetes medication
It is best to take Canagliflozin before the first meal of the day and at the same time each day. You should swallow the tablet whole with water.
The recommended initial dose is 100 mg by mouth each day, with or without food. Your doctor may increase your dose to 300 mg. However, if you have problems with your kidneys your doctor may limit your dose to 100 mg a day. If you should forget to take a dose, try to take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and stick to your usual schedule. Do not take a double dosage (two dosages on the same day) to make up for a forgotten dose.
Warnings and Precautions
Invokana is not for people with type 1 diabetes or with diabetic ketoacidosis (increased ketones in your blood or urine).
Do not take it if you:
- are allergic, or hypersensitive to canagliflozin.
- have type 1 diabetes (a disease in which your body does not produce any insulin).
- have diabetic ketoacidosis or a history of it.
- have serious kidney issues or you are on dialysis.
Talk to your doctor if you:
- are taking a diuretic medicine, also known as water pills.
- have high or low blood pressure and are taking medication for it.
- are older than 65 years of age.
- have kidney problems.
- are taking other medications to lower your blood sugar, such as glyburide, gliclazide or glimepiride (sulfonylureas) or insulin.
- have liver problems.
- have heart problems.
- have intolerance to some milk sugars (the tablets contain lactose).
- are pregnant or are planning to have a baby.
- are breast feeding.
- often get urinary tract infections.
Invokana is not recommended for use in patients under 18 years of age. It will cause your urine to test positive for high levels of sugar (glucose). Taking this medication also increases your risk of breaking a bone. Talk to your doctor about the factors that may increase your risk of bone fractures.
Invokana side effects
Common negative effects include:
- Vaginal yeast infection. Symptoms include vaginal odor, yellow or white vaginal discharge, and itching.
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) when used along with sulfonylurea drugs (such as glimepiride, gliclazide, and glyburide) or insulin. The symptoms of low blood sugar can include trembling, sweating, blurred vision, tingling lips, pale skin, changes in mood or feeling anxious or confused.
- Changes in urination, such as urinating more frequently, or in larger amounts, and an urgent need to urinate, as well as a need to urinate at night time.
- Balanitis (yeast infection of the penis).
- Urinary tract infection (burning sensation when urinating, cloudy urine, and strong odor).
- Feeling thirsty.
Uncommon negative effects include:
- Dehydration (not having enough water in your body). Symptoms can include fainting, feeling dizzy or light-headed, low blood pressure, very dry or sticky mouth, feeling very thirsty, feeling weak or tired, passing very little or no urine and fast heartbeat.
- Hives (raised red patches on the skin).
Talk to your health care provider about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.