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What is Invokana and what are the risks of taking it?

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2019 | blog

Every prescription medication comes with possible side effects. Researchers and doctors take these possibilities into account and weigh the benefits against the potential risks when deciding to approve the drug for use or prescribe it to patients. If you are a type 2 diabetic in Texas, your doctor may have prescribed or recommended Invokana as a treatment to lower your blood sugar. However, you may find that the potential risks of taking Invokana outweigh the benefits. 

According to the Food and Drug Administration, Invokana is the brand name of a drug called canagliflozin. For patients’ convenience, doctors sometimes prescribe a combination drug containing both Invokana and metformin, also used to treat type 2 diabetes. The two drugs combined together may go by the names Invokamet or Invokamet XR.

Invokana belongs to a class of drugs called sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors. When you take Invokana, your kidneys block excess sugar from going back into the bloodstream and instead channel it into your urine, which removes it from the body completely when you void your bladder.

Potential side effects of Invokana include the following: 

  • Increased cholesterol
  • Serious urinary tract infection
  • Kidney problems
  • Excess blood potassium
  • Yeast infection
  • Ketoacidosis

In addition, clinical trials have shown that taking Invokana can increase your chances of amputation of your lower extremities. The most common amputations involved one or more toes and/or the middle of the foot but some involved the leg, both above and below the knee, while other cases required amputation of both limbs. 

Because diabetes can cause severe, and possibly life-threatening, complications if left untreated, you should not stop taking Invokana without first discussing alternative treatment options with your doctor. You should inform your doctor as soon as possible if you take Invokana and experience symptoms such as infections, sores or ulcers of the feet or legs, as well as the development of new tenderness or pain in your lower extremities. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.