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Does Invokana cause weight loss?

Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on Sep 15, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Invokana can cause weight loss. It is approved to treat type 2 diabetes, but people taking the drug may notice a little bit of weight loss from excess sugar being released through urination. Invokana comes in 100 mg and 300 mg doses. In studies, people lost weight on either dose of Invokana, but lost slightly more on the higher 300 mg dose.

Invokana led to weight loss whether taken alone or in combination with common diabetes medications, including metformin and sulfonylureas. Studies show that people taking the 300 mg dose alone or with other diabetes drugs may lose about 6-9 pounds over six months. People who took 300 mg of Invokana for a year along with metformin lost a little more than 10 pounds. People taking the lower 100 mg dose of Invokana along with metformin lost about 9 pounds in a year.
Invokana is a sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitor, and it lowers your blood sugar level by removing sugar through urination. While taking Invokana, you could lose around 100 g of sugar a day by urination.

It's important to keep in mind that Invokana has some serious side effects too. The drug is associated with a two times higher risk of needing a lower limb amputation. SGLT2 inhibitors have also been linked to greater odds of getting a rare genital infection called necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum (Fournier's gangrene).

People taking Invokana are also more likely to experience bone fractures, kidney problems, diabetic ketoacidosis and low blood sugar than people taking a placebo. The most common side effects include yeast infections, urinary tract infections and increased urination.

References
  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Invokana. July 2017. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/204042s026lbl.pdf.   [Accessed August 7, 2020].
  2. Invokana. Frequently asked questions about INVOKANA, INVOKAMET XR, and INVOKAMET. May 2020. Available at: https://www.invokana.com/about-invokana/FAQs. [Accessed August 19, 2020].
  3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA warns about rare occurrences of a serious infection of the genital area with SGLT2 inhibitors for diabetes. August 29, 2018. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-warns-about-rare-occurrences-serious-infection-genital-area-sglt2-inhibitors-diabetes. [Accessed August 19, 2020].

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