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Is Invokana the same as metformin?

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on Sep 12, 2022.

Is Invokana better than metformin? Can you take Invokana with metformin?

Official answer


Is Invokana the same as metformin?

No, Invokana is not the same medicine as metformin.
Invokana and metformin both are medicines that treat type 2 diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels, but they work in different ways.

How does metformin work?

Metformin is belongs to the medicine class of non-sulfonylureas, and works in three ways to reduce blood sugar levels by:

  • making the body more sensitive to insulin so cells are able to absorb and use the sugar in the blood more effectively

  • reducing absorption of sugar from the intestines

  • reducing the amount of sugar the liver produces.

How does Invokana work?

Invokana (canagliflozin) reduces blood sugar levels by inhibiting a protein in the kidney called SGLT2 (Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2) which usually reabsorbs sugar back into the bloodstream. This means that Invokana:

  • increases the amount of sugar is passed out of the body in urine.

Is Invokana better than metformin?

Neither of the medications are better than the other. Different diabetes medicines will suit different patients, depending on the individual medical situation. It is up to the prescriber to decide which medication will be most beneficial to their individual patients.
The prescriber will usually take into account:

  • severity of diabetes
  • other medications they may or may not have tried
  • doses per day
  • personal affordability
  • personal risk of potential side effects
  • other health conditions the patient may have.

Can I take Invokana with metformin?

Yes, you can take Invokana with metformin. Your health care provider may prescribe metformin and Invokana as the two separate medicines that you take separately. It may also be prescribed as the combination medication Invokamet or Invokamet CR, which contains both metformin and Invokana in one tablet.
Often only one diabetic medication is necessary to treat diabetes and therefore metformin, Invokana or another type of diabetic medication is taken on its own.


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