Invokana was approved by the FDA in 2013, and it was the first drug of its kind approved: an SGLT2 inhibitor. Invokana is an oral medication prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes. It differs from many other diabetes drugs such as biguanides, sulfonylureas and GLP-1 agonists that work in the pancreas or the liver. Invokana is unique because it helps to control blood sugar by working in the kidneys.
Glucose in the Body
Glucose is an essential fuel that the body needs to function. There are many processes and different tissues involved in the synthesis and storage of glucose in the body, maintaining the delicate balance between high and low blood sugar that is most desirable for the body to function. Glucose is absorbed from food in the intestines and enters the blood stream so the body can start using it for energy. Insulin produced in the pancreas helps to regulate blood levels of glucose after eating. If there is too much glucose, insulin helps convert it to glycogen, which can be stored in the liver and in the muscles for later use for energy. Glucose that remains in the blood is passed through the kidneys where it is either reabsorbed or excreted.
How Invokana Works
The kidneys filter approximately 180 grams of glucose per day, most of which is reabsorbed into the blood stream. SGLT1 and SGLT2 are proteins that exist in the kidneys. They reabsorb and transport that passes through the kidneys and transport it back out into the blood stream. Glucose that is not reabsorbed by these transporters is then excreted in urine. Invokana is an SGLT2 inhibitor, meaning it inhibits the action of SGLT2 transporters. This means that less glucose is reabsorbed and moved back into the blood stream. In fact, these medications allow the body to excrete around 100 grams of glucose per day. This increases urinary glucose excretion by more than 50%.
Invokana How it Works
Similar Drugs & Prices
There are now two other SGLT2 inhibitors on the market. They are called Jardiance and Farxiga. The price range for these three medications is similar – about $400-$500 per month. Invokana only needs to be taken once daily, and prices start around $415 for 30 pills and can go up to about $500. The price depends on the pharmacy. The manufacturer of Invokana offers a patient assistance program to help cover costs. Also, try our Invokana coupons to save as much as 75% on cash prices.