Patients with type 2 diabetes who were treated with Invokana experienced weight loss not due to dieting but simply by the way the drug works. But others taking the drug consumed more calories, researches are expected to report during Obesity Week 2016, an annual meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the Obesity Society next month.
Invokana, known chemically as canagliflozin, is made by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals. It is in a class of diabetes drugs known as sodium glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. The drugs were first introduced in 2013. The drug works by allowing the kidneys to remove excess glucose from the blood, which is then excreted from the body through the urine. Thus, calories are also excreted.
Researchers with the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Research in Bethesda, MD, investigated weight loss in 153 patients treated with Invokana. They found that many patients experienced weight loss not directly caused by dieting. Others consumed more calories, offsetting the calories lost through the urine and counteracting the weight loss. The findings shed light on why keeping weight off can be so difficult for these patients, researchers said.
Weight loss was considered one positive Invokana side effect, since many type 2 diabetics are overweight or obese. But Inovkana has been rife with many reported negative side effects since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) three years ago. The agency has added new warnings or strengthened previous warnings on the drug regarding serious urinary tract infections, acute kidney injury, ketoacidosis, bone mineral loss and bone fractures. The FDA is currently investigating whether the drug increases the risk for lower limb amputations.