What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Diabetes is a life-long disease that affects the lives of over 24 million people. Type 2 diabetes, once known as adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose), your body's important source of fuel. More common in adults, with type 2 diabetes your body either resists the effects of insulin — a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells — or doesn't produce enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level.

Diabetic glucose level test
Diabetic glucose level test.

 

Why was tHE prescription drug Invokana prescribed?

Invokana is used in combination with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar and improve glycemic control for those with type 2 diabetes. Invokana is a SGLT2 inhibitor which means it is supposed to lower a patient's blood sugar by causing the kidneys to remove the sugar through the urine. When untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to serious problems, including blindness, nerve damage, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and a range of other problems. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. The safety and efficacy of SGLT2 inhibitors have not been established in patients with type 1 diabetes, and FDA has not approved them for use in these patients.

Simply stated, Invokana (canagliflozin) is a prescription drug for people with type-2 diabetes that helps prevent high blood-sugar. It was developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals and approved by the FDA in 2013. It was the first drug in a new class known as sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors.

The recommended starting dose is a 100-mg pill taken once daily before the first meal of the day. The dose can be increased to 300-mg once daily in patients who tried the lower dose but need better blood-sugar control.

Invokana alone is not very effective at treating diabetes because it only lowers blood-sugar levels (measured by the A1C blood test) by 0.5 to 0.7 percentage points. It is usually used in combination with other diabetes drugs, such as metformin.

 

What costs are involved with Invokana use?

Invokana is sold for a lot more than other similarly purposed drugs. The wholesale cost is $8.77 per pill, according to a spokesperson for Janssen. Retail cost for the 100-mg starting dose is $300 a month which works out to approximately $10 a pill. In comparison, the diabetes drug metformin can cost as little as $7.50 a month or about $0.25 per pill. In 2015, sales of Invokana surged to $1.3 billion and doctors wrote over 1.1 million prescriptions. In 2014, Invokana made $586 million in sales.

 

Do Invokana Users Risk Any Side Effects?

The most serious potential side effects, caused through the use of Invokana are myocardial infarction (heart attack), kidney damage and ketoacidosis.

Invokana is a diuretic that causes patients to urinate more often, which can reduce blood-volume and cause dehydration. The most common side effects of Invokana are urinary tract infections and vaginal yeast infections. You may be at higher risk of dehydration if you have low blood-pressure, are on a low-salt diet, have kidney problems, or are over 65 years old.

 

We Can Help!

If you or a loved one was diagnosed with ketoacidosis or kidney failure after taking Invokana, please contact Jensen & Associates immediately for a free case evaluation. You may use the form to the right, email us at MyCase@InvokanaAdvice.com or call us toll-free at 1-800-803-3784. We can help.

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