Potential side effects
Like all medicines, Invokana may cause side effects but not everyone gets them.
What potential side effects should you be aware of?
Most of the side effects you could get are the result of losing sugar in the urine. While most side effects are mild, some people could experience a more serious side effect, and some may need treatment. Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you notice any of the following side effects, as you may need medical treatment.
Common side effects 1
Including vaginal thrush, and rash or redness of the penis or foreskin
Urinary tract infections
Changes in urination
Including urinating more frequently or in larger amounts, urgent need to urinate, need to urinate at night
Blood tests may show changes in blood cholesterol levels and increases in the amount of red blood cells in your blood (haematocrit)
For more detailed information on these side effects, please see the patient information leaflet in the box
with your tablets.
Hypoglycaemia – ‘hypos’ or ‘lows’
Hypoglycaemia – ‘hypos’ or ‘lows’ – happen when you don’t have enough sugar in your blood to allow your body to function properly. Hypoglycaemia is very common if you are taking other diabetes medicines such as insulin or a sulphonylurea in addition to Invokana.
Possible signs of hypoglycaemia include:
- Feeling hungry
- Anxiety and confusion
- Looking pale
- Fast pulse and fast heart rate
- Tingling of lips
- Blurred vision
Your doctor or nurse will tell you how to treat low blood sugar levels and what to do if you have any of these symptoms.
One of the side effects of Invokana is passing urine more often, or in larger amounts. If you lose too much fluid from your body, you may become dehydrated. Signs of dehydration include: 1
- Feeling light-headed or dizzy
- Fainting or feeling dizzy or faint when you stand up
- Having a very dry or sticky mouth
- Feeling very thirsty
- Feeling very weak or tired
- Passing little or no urine
- Fast heart rate
It is important to stay hydrated. You can prevent dehydration by drinking 6 – 8 glasses of fluid every day. 2,3
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)
What is DKA?
DKA is a rare but potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes caused when there is not enough insulin in the body. It occurs when the body is unable to use blood sugar because there isn’t enough insulin. Instead, your body breaks down fat as an alternative source of energy. This causes a build-up of a potentially harmful by-product called ketones.
What are the symptoms of DKA?
- Rapid weight loss
- Feeling or being sick
- Stomach pain
- Excessive thirst
- Fast and deep breathing
- Unusual sleepiness or tiredness
- A sweet smell to your breath
- A sweet or metallic taste in your mouth
- A different odour to your urine or sweat
Contact your doctor or go to the nearest hospital immediately if you have any of these symptoms, whatever your blood sugar levels. For more detailed information on this side effect, please see the patient information leaflet in the box with your tablets.
Reporting side effects
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not mentioned in the package leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
Preventing genital infections
There are some things you can do to help prevent genital infections from occurring.
- Wash the area with warm water and avoid using perfumed soaps, shower gels, or douches
- Avoid using latex condoms, spermicidal creams or lubricants if they irritate your genital area
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting underwear
- Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting trousers and skirts
- Wash your hands thoroughly after going to the toilet
If you do get an infection, treatment is available at pharmacies or from your doctor.
Foot care 1,4,5
Diabetes is one of the main causes of amputation of the lower limbs (lower legs, feet and toes). Diabetes can cause damage to nerves in the feet, so you may not feel a problem like a cut or blister. Diabetes can also reduce the blood flow to the feet, which can slow down wound healing and affect your ability to fight infections. If foot problems aren’t treated in time, they can cause ulcers or infections, which in severe cases can lead to amputation. The best way to prevent amputation and other severe complications of diabetes is to manage your blood sugar.
You should check your feet regularly to help identify and treat any problems quickly. You should receive regular foot checks as part of your regular care routine. You can help to reduce the chance of problems with your feet by following a simple foot care routine at home. (If you find it difficult to reach your feet, or can’t see well enough to check your feet properly, ask a family member or carer to check them for you).
Because Invokana increases the frequency of urination, it’s important you drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated (6 – 8 glasses of water a day)
You also need to maintain good genital hygiene to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and other infections
A good foot care routine helps to identify problems quickly – regularly check your feet and toenails