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What Is Canagliflozin Used For?

A prescription drug, canagliflozin is used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults. This medication works by increasing the amount of glucose (sugar) removed from the blood through the urine. By keeping blood sugar under control, canagliflozin may help you avoid long-term diabetes complications, such as heart disease, eye problems, and kidney failure.


An Overview of Uses for Canagliflozin

Canagliflozin (Invokana®) is a prescription medication that is approved to treat type 2 diabetes. It should be used in combination with appropriate changes in diet and exercise to help control blood sugar.
In addition to lowering blood sugar, canagliflozin has a tendency to lower blood pressure and to cause modest weight loss. These two "side effects" are often welcomed benefits for many people with type 2 diabetes. However, as with many other diabetes drugs, certain other side effects -- some of which can be dangerous -- are also possible (see Canagliflozin Side Effects for more information).

Canagliflozin Use for Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes (see Diabetes Types). It is also sometimes called adult-onset diabetes or noninsulin-dependent diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the cells in the body do not respond to insulin as well as they normally should. As a result, the cells do not remove sugar from the blood very well. This is why people with type 2 diabetes have high blood sugar levels.
Over time, high blood sugar can lead to a number of problems, including diabetic impotence, diabetic neuropathy, kidney failure, and heart disease (see Diabetes Complications). The cause of type 2 diabetes is not fully understood, although it is known that obesity and genetics play an important role in type 2 diabetes.
Any type 2 diabetes treatment begins with lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, a proper diet, and exercise. If lifestyle changes are not effective at managing blood sugar levels, diabetes medications, such as canagliflozin, may be necessary. Some diabetes drugs force the pancreas to produce more insulin, regardless of blood sugar levels. These medications are effective but can cause dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Because of the way canagliflozin works, it is far less likely to cause dangerously low blood sugar, compared with some other diabetes medications.
In some people, canagliflozin may need to be combined with other diabetes medicines. Canagliflozin has been studied in combination with a wide variety of different diabetes medications, including insulin.
(To learn more about controlling diabetes through lifestyle choices, click on any of the links below:
7 Signs of High Blood Sugar

Canagliflozin Drug Information

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