Invokana is an oral diabetes medication that helps control blood sugar levels. It may be prescribed alone or in combination with other medications and diet and exercise in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Canagliflozin, the active ingredient in Invokana belongs to a class of drugs known as SGLT2 (sodium-glucose co-transporter 2) inhibitors, which work by increasing the amount of glucose that gets passed out in the urine.
Normally, when the kidneys filter and clean the blood, glucose is filtered out of the blood at the same time. The kidneys normally reabsorb glucose back into the blood even when the levels of glucose in the blood are too high, as in diabetes. Canagliflozin works by inhibiting the SGLT2 transporter which allows excess glucose to be filtered out of the blood and excreted in the urine. This will reduce blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which your pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or your body does not properly use the insulin it makes. As a result, glucose builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy. Invokana should not be used by people with type 1 diabetes.
Invokana tablets may be prescribed for people with type 2 diabetes whose blood sugar is not sufficiently controlled by other antidiabetic medicines. It can be added to treatment with medicines such as Metformin, a sulphonylurea such a Gliclazide, or to treatment with insulin.
Glucose is a form of sugar that comes from the food we eat. It enters the blood and is used by cells for energy. The body requires insulin which is made by the pancreas for this process. If the body does not produce or properly utilize the insulin it requires, the glucose remains in the blood and creates high blood sugar levels that are unhealthy. Invokana increases the amount of glucose that is passed through urine.
Proper control of diabetes helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems and may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Before you start treatment with Invokana, advise your doctor if you have any of the following medical conditions: kidney or liver disease; low blood pressure; high cholesterol levels; bladder infections; electrolyte imbalance.
Invokana may interact with other medications; especially diuretics, digoxin, phenytoin or phenobarbital, rifampin, and ritonavir. Be sure that your doctor is aware of all Rx drugs, over the counter medications, vitamins and supplements you take.
You should not use Invokana if you have severe kidney disease, if you are on dialysis, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis. Invokana is only prescribed for those with type 2 diabetes as it works with your own insulin.
Low blood pressure (hypoglycemia) has been commonly reported when Invokana is taken with other diabetes medications/insulin. Symptoms of hypoglycemia may include: cold sweats; unusual tiredness or weakness; anxious feeling, tremors, confusion. Make sure you discuss this with your doctor and know what to do if you experience these symptoms.
Alcohol consumption should be limited while taking Invokana because it can increase your risk of developing blood sugar levels that are too low.
Consult your doctor right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: unusual tiredness, nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, trouble breathing.