The FDA has approved Invokana (canaglifozin) tablets, for adults with type 2 diabetes to be used with diet and exercise, to improve glycemic control. Patients ultimately tend to have complications from high blood sugar levels, including kidney damage, blindness, nerve damage, and heart disease. It is the first diabetes treatment approved in a new class of drugs known as sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors.
It stops the kidney from increasing glucose excretion, reabsorbing glucose, and reducing blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes who have excessively high blood glucose levels. Patients with type 2 diabetes struggles managing their blood sugar, and nearly half of adults do not achieve recommended levels of glucose control, increasing their risks for possibility of life-threatening complications. It is thought to work differently than other currently-available medicines because it reduces blood glucose by acting on the kidneys as a ‘glucuretic,’ increasing the loss of glucose in the urine.
Its safety and efficacy were assessed in nine clinical trials which involves 10285 type 2 diabetes patients. Patients on it experienced improved A1C levels and fasting blood sugar (plasma glucose) levels. It was also associated with reductions in systolic blood pressure and body weight.
It has been studied as therapy to be taken on its own, and also in combination with, pioglitazone, sulfonylurea, metformin and insulin.
Patients with the following should not use it:
• Type 1 diabetes
• Severe renal (kidney) impairment
• Diabetic ketoacidosis – ketones in their urine or blood
• On dialysis
• End stage kidney disease
The following side effects were reported during the trials: urinary tract infection and vulvovaginal candidiasis. Its diuretic effect can cause a sudden fall in blood pressure when the patient stands up (postural or orthostatic hypotension) – symptoms include fainting or dizziness. During the first twelve weeks of therapy it is most common.
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Harry Kelly is a Medical Student and a freelancer who is specialized in writing. He is associate with many Pharmacies for whom he writes articles based on generic drugs and general health related issues.