In one 26-week study, those on Invokana lost about 6 to 8 pounds, while those in the placebo group lost only about a pound.
But the drug has side effects, including infections of the urinary tract, penis, and vagina. This leads some experts to have less enthusiasm for the new medicine.
It will also cost a lot more than other diabetes drugs. The wholesale cost for Invokana is $8.77 a pill, according to Katie Mahony, a spokeswoman for Janssen. Retail cost for the 100-milligram starting dose, without co-pays or coverage, is about $10 a pill, or $300 a month.
The popular diabetes drug metformin can cost as little as 25 cents a pill.
"It's another way to control diabetes without injections," says Anthony McCall, MD. He is the James M. Moss Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville. He was not involved in the development of the new drug.
A new pill is welcome, McCall says, for some of the estimated 24 million Americans with type 2 diabetes, especially as an alternative to injecting insulin.
"People do have strong feelings about injectable medications," he says. However, he and other experts say they don't expect Invokana to replace other drugs, but rather to offer another option.
In type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn't use it properly. As a result, blood sugar (glucose) levels rise, leading to complications such as heart disease, kidney damage, and nerve problems.
Invokana works by blocking glucose from being reabsorbed by the kidneys. That raises the amount of glucose urinated, and lowers the amount of glucose in your blood.
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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
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