What Are the Dangers of Invokana?

Invokana is a relatively new drug from SGLT-2 class that is approved for use by diabetics (type 2). This medication is great for controlling your blood glucose levels by making sugar pass into the urine. Many users claim it helps them cope with their diabetes better than other drugs. Plus, Invokana has a tremendous value for diabetics with the obesity problem.

However, lately Invokana has attracted a lot of public attention due to its side effects. Pharmaceutical lawyers are still hunting for Invokana users who developed ketoacidosis or got their feet or arm amputated supposedly brought about by the use of this medication. The manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, is showered with lawsuits for not including the information about certain health risks associated with Invokana use. It’s unclear whether they did it intentionally or they had no idea about certain side effects of their product before its launch.

Are there reasons to be worried?

Now, when the FDA made Invokana makers add all the dangers of Invokana to the list of side effects, you shouldn’t worry much about this. Leave it to your doctor. Any diabetes medication has its list of side effects, and only your doctor can decide which one is more effective and less risky in your situation. They need to carefully look at your health history to make sure benefits of Invokana outweigh its potential risks.

Still, you should be informed about all possible risks of Invokana use and monitor your health condition.

Invokana side effects include:

  • Allergy
  • Increased risk of kidney damage
  • Double risk of lower-limb amputation
  • Fungal infections
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Bone fractures
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue


About 4% of people who took part in Invokana clinical studies said they experienced mild allergic reactions such as redness of the skin, rash or itching. Severe allergic symptoms such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat or angioedema are very rare.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

As Invokana makes sugar accumulate in the kidneys while no extra insulin is produced by the body or taken as an injection, it leads to the surge of ketones levels in the blood. In turn, it might bring about a severe condition that would require emergency measures. Due to increased risks of ketoacidosis, Invokana wasn’t approved for use for diabetes type 1.


Lower-limb amputations are possible as a result of Invokana use, but such side effects are not common. You won’t be prescribed this medication if you are at risk of amputation. You should avoid using Invokana if:

  • You’ve had amputations in the past because of diabetes.
  • You have diabetic foot ulcers.
  • You have a heart disease.
  • You were diagnosed with neuropathy in your legs or feet.
  • You have narrowed blood vessels in your legs or feet.

Bone fractures

In some cases, the bone density of Invokana users might be affected which might lead to bone fractures. The good news is that it can be prevented. Other anti-diabetes medications also have this side effect, and the disease itself might be the major cause of broken bones.

Yeast infection

This is one of the most common side effects of Invokana use that can be easily taken care of by the addition of extra medications. Yeast infection develops in around 11,6% of women surveyed and 4,2% of men who participated in Invokana clinical trials.

Cardiovascular events

This one isn’t clear at all since the results of clinical studies are interpreted in different ways. The manufacturer claims that Invokana lowers the risk of heart attack, in contrast to most anti-diabetes drugs, whereas some physicians try to refute such claims stating it’s far from the truth. Anyway, if you have increased risk of developing a heart disease, discuss the risks of Invokana use with your doctor.

Weight loss

Yes, you can expect to lose some weight while taking Invokana. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s a side effect or a plus. In most clinical studies the participants lost about 6.5 pounds within the first 12 weeks.

How long does Invokana stay in your system?

There might be situations when you need to know how long Invokana stays in your system. The maximum concentration of Invokana in your blood can be expected within an hour or two if you take it once per day. The half life of this medication is the following:

  • ten and a half hours for the 100mg dose.
  • thirteen hours for the 300mg dose.

Thus, it will take around 24-48 hours for Invokana to completely get out of your system.

If you experience certain health issues and believe it might be due to Invokana use, consult your physician right away. Don’t make the decision of quitting it on your own. For example, if the side effect is minor, it can be taken care of with the help of other medication.

Next article How does Invokana Cause Ketoacidosis?