How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Canagliflozin belongs to the class of medications known as oral antihyperglycemic agents. It is used alone and in combination with other medications for the control of blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes. This medication should be used as part of an overall diabetes management plan that includes a diet and exercise program. Canagliflozin works by increasing the amount of glucose being removed from the body by the kidneys, which decreases the amount of sugar in the blood.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each yellow, capsule-shaped, film-coated tablet with "CFZ" on one side and "100" on the other, contains canagliflozin hemihydrate equivalent to 100 mg canagliflozin. Nonmedicinal ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, hydroxypropyl cellulose, lactose anhydrous, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose; film coating: iron oxide yellow, Macrogol (polyethylene glycol), polyvinyl alcohol, talc, and titanium dioxide.
Each white, capsule-shaped, film-coated tablet with "CFZ" on one side and "300" on the other, contains canagliflozin hemihydrate equivalent to 300 mg canagliflozin. Nonmedicinal ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, hydroxypropyl cellulose, lactose anhydrous, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose; film coat: Macrogol (polyethylene glycol), polyvinyl alcohol, talc, and titanium dioxide.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended starting dose for canagliflozin is 100 mg taken by mouth once a day. Your doctor may adjust the dose up or down, depending on how effective it is and how well it is tolerated.
Canagliflozin should be taken at the same time every day, preferably before the first meal of the day. The tablets should be swallowed whole with some fluid and may be taken with food or on an empty stomach.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are administering the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop using the medication because you feel better. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use this medication if you:
- are allergic to canagliflozin or any ingredients of this medication
- have severely reduced kidney function, end stage kidney disease, or are receiving dialysis
- have Type I diabetes
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- redness or rash of the penis or foreskin (yeast infection)
- signs of dehydration (e.g., decreased urine, dry skin, dry and sticky mouth, sleepiness, dizziness, headache, thirst, confusion)
- signs of vaginal yeast infection (e.g., vaginal odour, curd-like discharge, itching)
- symptoms of low blood sugar (e.g., cold sweat, cool pale skin, headache, fast heart beat, weakness, blurred vision)
- symptoms of a urinary tract infection (e.g. pain when urinating, urinating more often than usual, low back or flank pain, strong odour)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- fainting or lightheadedness when standing
- severe dehydration (e.g., confusion, sweating stops, heart palpitations)
- severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar; disorientation, loss of consciousness, seizure)
- signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
HEALTH CANADA ADVISORY
May 16, 2016
Health Canada has issued new information concerning the use of canagliflozin (Invokana). To read the full report, visit Health Canada's website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
A previous advisory on canagliflozin. was issued on June 22, 2015. To read the full Health Canada Advisory, visit Health Canada's web site at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
Dizziness: Some people taking canagliflozin may experience decreases in blood pressure. This occurs because the medication causes an increased amount of fluid, along with the glucose, to be removed from the body through the kidneys. These blood pressure drops could lead to dizziness, lightheadedness, and falls. This may occur when you shift your body position, such as rising from a sitting or lying position. If you experience this problem, try getting up more slowly. If it persists or if you faint, contact your doctor. Seniors and other individuals who are at risk of experiencing low blood pressure (e.g., dehydration, taking medications for high blood pressure) should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect their medical condition, how their medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Glucose control: When canagliflozin is taken along with other medications for diabetes, glucose levels may drop too far, causing confusion, cold sweats, cool and pale skin, headache, fast heartbeat, or weakness. Your doctor may suggest decreasing the dose of your other medications when you first start taking canagliflozin. If you take other medications for diabetes, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Kidney function: Canagliflozin may cause a decrease in kidney function. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Potassium levels: Increases in blood levels of potassium may occur when taking canagliflozin. This is more likely to happen to people who are taking other medications that prevent potassium from being removed from the body, or those who have moderately reduced kidney function. This doesn't often cause problems, but potassium levels should be monitored by your doctor. If you experience unexplained nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness or tingling sensations, contact your doctor.
Yeast infections: There is an increased risk of developing genital or vaginal yeast infections when taking canagliflozin as a result of increased glucose in the urine. This is more likely to occur for uncircumcised males and for people who have a history of yeast infections .
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if canagliflozin passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for children less than 18 years of age.
Seniors: Seniors are more likely to experience side effects with this medication and may require lower doses.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between canagliflozin and any of the following:
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.