Invokana (canagliflozin) belongs to a class of drugs called sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, which are designed to help treat type 2 diabetes. These drugs work by preventing the buildup of glucose in the kidneys.
Unfortunately, their effectiveness comes at a steep price for many patients with type 2 diabetes who rely on them to manage their disease.
What is Invokana?
Approved by the FDA in March 2013, Invokana is an oral medication prescribed to adults with type 2 diabetes to enhance glycemic control and reduce blood sugar levels. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (a Johnson & Johnson company) manufactures the prescription drug.
Drugs in the SGLT-2 inhibitor class were developed to lower blood sugar levels by promoting the removal of excess sugar through urination. SGLT-2 inhibitors are commonly used to treat adults with Type 2 diabetes.
SGLT-2 is a protein in humans that facilitates glucose reabsorption in the kidneys. SGLT-2 inhibitors block the reabsorption of glucose in the kidneys, increasing glucose excretion through urine, and in turn, lowering blood glucose levels.
Invokana Is Linked to Many Health Problems
Between Invokana’s release in March 2013 and October 2015, the FDA received more than 100 confirmed cases of acute kidney injury in people who took the drug. These confirmed cases led to the FDA strengthening its warning about the risk of acute kidney injury in people who take Invokana in June 2016.
In addition to kidney injury and failure, Invokana is also linked to many other health problems, including:
- Loss of bone density
- Fournier’s gangrene
- Bladder cancer
- Renal cancer