This information is intended only for patients who have been prescribed Invokana by a UK healthcare professional.

This website aims to provide you with more information about your condition and the medicine your doctor or nurse has prescribed. It is also very important that you read the Patient Information Leaflet for Invokana.

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Coronavirus (Covid -19) and Type 2 Diabetes

If you become ill and unwell, you may need to interrupt treatment with your Invokana tablets for a short time as you will need to check your ketones and your blood sugars (if you’ve been told to do this and have the kit), and speak to your healthcare team. Taking Invokana tablets when you’re not very well could increase your risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), so you need to know the symptoms to look out for.

It is important that people with diabetes follow the sick day rules should they become ill from any illness.

For useful resources on managing your diabetes if you become unwell with the Coronavirus (Covid-19) go to:
• Gov.UK : For Households with possible coronavirus infection https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance
• Diabetes UK https://www.diabetes.org.uk/about_us/news/coronavirus

What is type 2 diabetes?

Insulin is a hormone your body produces. It helps to control blood sugar (glucose) levels by allowing cells in your body to absorb glucose from the blood and use it for energy.1 If you have type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t respond properly to the insulin you produce. Your body also makes less insulin.1 When this happens, glucose builds up in the blood. This can lead to serious medical conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease, blindness and amputation.2

Although type 2 diabetes is a life-long condition, medicines and lifestyle changes can help to keep your blood glucose under control and reduce the risk of these serious complications.

Type 1 diabetes is a different condition, where the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin. It is caused by the body’s immune system attacking the cells of the pancreas.3 Invokana can’t be used to treat type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes complications 2,4-9

Heart disease
In people with diabetes, the excess glucose can lead to blood vessel disease called cardiovascular disease. Damaged blood vessels can become blocked and cause serious heart complications, such as a heart attack, and could also lead to a stroke. High blood pressure and high blood cholesterol (fat) can also damage the blood vessels and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Keeping your blood glucose, blood pressure and blood fats under control can help reduce your risk of heart disease.

Kidney disease
The main job of your kidneys is to filter your blood, keeping important things like protein in the body and filtering out waste products and extra fluid, which leave the body in the urine. Over time, high blood glucose levels (and/or high blood pressure) in people with diabetes can damage the tiny blood vessels and filters in the kidneys, causing them to leak. Protein and other substances are then lost in the urine.

Diabetic kidney disease doesn’t normally cause symptoms in the early stages, and by the time symptoms occur the damage to the kidneys can be quite serious. Luckily, regular testing can pick up the early signs of kidney damage (for example protein in the urine) and early treatment can help to slow down further kidney damage.

Eye problems
Diabetes can cause a serious condition called diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to sight loss if it’s not diagnosed or treated quickly. High blood glucose and blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in the eye. If this happens, not enough blood gets to the retina (the seeing part of the eye) and the vision is damaged.

There are different stages of diabetic nephropathy. If it is spotted at an early stage, there is more chance of being able to stop it getting worse. Regular eye tests are important for detecting damage at an early stage.

Nerve damage
Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage the small vessels that supply blood to the nerves. This causes the nerves to stop working properly or even disappear. Nerve damage is also called neuropathy, and different types of neuropathy affect different nerves:

  • Sensory neuropathy affects the nerves that allow you to feel things. Symptoms can include tingling and not being able to feel pain
  • Autonomic neuropathy affects the nerves connected to organs and glands. Symptoms can include digestion problems and incontinence.
  • Motor neuropathy affects the nerves involved in moving. Symptoms can include muscle weakness, loss of muscle tissue and twitching.

Foot problems
Diabetes can cause damage to nerves in the feet, which can mean you don’t feel a foot problem like a cut or a blister. It can also cause reduced 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.

Diabetes is one of the main causes of amputation of the lower limbs (lower legs, feet and toes) throughout the world, so it’s important to check your feet regularly (Click here for more information about foot care)


  1. Reference 10
  2. Reference 1
  3. Reference 11
  4. Reference 12
  5. Reference 13
  6. Reference 14
  7. Reference 15
  8. Reference 16
  9. Reference 27
This information is intended only for patients who have been prescribed Invokana by a UK healthcare professional.

Reporting side effects
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the package leaflet.
You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card scheme at
By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

Date of preparation: September 2020 | Job code: INV-18087(4)

What is type 2 diabetes?
– Diabetes complications

What is Invokana?
– How does Invokana work?
– How should I take Invokana?
– Is it OK to take Invokana if I’m taking other medicines?

What potential side-effects should I be aware of?
– Common side-effects
– Reporting side-effects
– Other side effects
– Serious side-effects

Self care
– Keeping healthy
– Sick day rules
– Foot care
– What can I do to help reduce my risk of side-effects?

Useful contacts & support