Information about Canagliflozin

Canagliflozin uses

Canagliflozin is used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

How canagliflozin works

Canagliflozin increases the loss of sugar through the kidneys.

Common side effects of canagliflozin

Nausea, Frequent urge to urinate, Increased thirst, Urinary tract infection, Hypoglycaemia (Low blood sugar level) in combination with insulin or sulphonylurea, Genital fungal infection.

Available Medicine for Canagliflozin

  • ₹510
    Janssen Pharmaceuticals
    1 variant(s)
  • ₹510
    USV Ltd
    1 variant(s)
  • ₹1200 to ₹3600
    Johnson & Johnson Ltd
    2 variant(s)

Expert advice for Canagliflozin

  • Drink plenty of water and stay well hydrated.
  • Notify your doctor right away if you have nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, tiredness, or trouble breathing.This could be due to ketoacidosis (increased ketones in your blood or urine).
  • Notify your doctor if you are or are planning to become pregnant.
  • Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with a proper diet alone or a diet along with exercise. A planned diet and exercising are always important when you have diabetes, even when you are taking antidiabetic medicines. 
  • Canagliflozin does not help patients who have type 1 diabetes.

Frequently asked questions for Canagliflozin


Q. What makes Canagliflozin better than glimepiride?
Both are effective in lowering blood glucose levels, however, they work in different ways and have different side effect profile. Glimepiride commonly causes hypoglycemia and weight gain while Canagliflozin causes hypoglycemia when taken with insulins or sulfonylureas and helps in loosing weight. Canagliflozin commonly causes urinary tract and genital infections.
Q. How is Canagliflozin different from dapagliflozin?
Both belong to the same class drugs and work by removing glucose from urine. However, Canagliflozin is more effective in removing a higher amount of glucose through urine in 24 hours than dapagliflozin. Also, the use of dapagliflozin is to be avoided in patients with bladder cancer.
Q. Is Canagliflozin better than sitagliptin for the control of my blood sugar?
Both Canagliflozin and sitagliptin lower blood sugar levels but work in different ways. Canagliflozin removes glucose from the body through urine while sitagliptin increases the release of insulin which lowers blood glucose levels. Canagliflozin causes urinary and genital tract infection while sitagliptin causes nausea and increases the risk of pancreatitis. Canagliflozin may cause weight loss while sitagliptin does not show any effect on weight.
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Q. What is the benefit of using Canagliflozin with metformin?
The combination of Canagliflozin and metformin helps in a significant improvement of blood glucose levels and glycosylated hemoglobin as compared to when they are taken alone.
Q. Does Canagliflozin increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL) level?
Canagliflozin is seen to increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels in some patients. Get LDL levels checked regularly. However, the increase is not seen to be clinically significant and Canagliflozin can also increase the triglyceride (TG) and high-density lipoprotein levels (HDL). However, the exact mechanism for this effect is not known but is related to urinary glucose excretion.
Q. Can Canagliflozin help me in losing weight?
Canagliflozin along with well-balanced diet and exercise works effectively in lowering blood glucose levels and weight loss in type 2 diabetes patients. Canagliflozin works by removing glucose through urine, so, calories are lost resulting in weight loss according to some clinical studies.
Q. Can Canagliflozin be stopped immediately or slowly over a period of time?
Do not stop taking Canagliflozin immediately or over a period of time without consulting your doctor as the change in your treatment would depend on your blood glucose levels and other associated side effects or complications if any.
Q. Can Canagliflozin be a cause for amputation?
Canagliflozin can increase the risk of leg and foot amputation. Inform your doctor if you have a history of diabetic foot ulcer, peripheral vascular disease, neuropathy or amputation. In case you notice tenderness, pain, numbness, tingling sensation, discoloration, sores or ulcers in the lower limb if you are taking Canagliflozin, immediately contact your doctor.
Q. How long does Canagliflozin take to show its effect?
Canagliflozin starts to show its effect from the first dose itself but the complete effect is noticed after 1 week of starting the medicine.
Q. In what condition the use of Canagliflozin should be avoided or contraindicated?
Canagliflozin is not advised in patients with type 1 Diabetes, severe liver or kidney disease or on dialysis, diabetic ketoacidosis (elevated blood or urine ketone levels), patients planning for pregnancy or pregnant or nursing mother, patients with a history of allergy to this medicine, have low or high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels.
Q. Is Canagliflozin better than metformin?
Canagliflozin and metformin belong to two different classes and work in different ways to lower blood glucose levels. Both can lower body weight and are beneficial in overweight or obese type 2 Diabetes patients. However, metformin is much safer and mainly causes stomach upset while Canagliflozin can cause nausea, increased thirst, urinary tract and genital fungal infection and there have been reports of diabetic ketoacidosis with its use.
Q. Can I use Canagliflozin for type 1 diabetes?
No, Canagliflozin is not indicated for use in patients with type 1 Diabetes as they pass more urine and Canagliflozin also increases urine frequency and removes glucose through urine. So, a combined effect may worsen dehydration. Also, there have been reports of diabetic ketoacidosis with Canagliflozin, a complication seen in type 1 diabetic patients and this may get worsened.
Q. Can Canagliflozin be used as an add-on to insulin?
Canagliflozin can be used as an add-on to insulin. However, it is known to cause hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels) when used with insulin or sulfonylurea group of anti-diabetics. So, a regular monitoring of blood sugar is important when they are used together.
Q. How is Canagliflozin different from liraglutide?
Both are anti-diabetic medicines and lower blood glucose levels effectively and can cause weight loss. Canagliflozin is to be taken by mouth and works by removing glucose from the body through urine and can cause urinary and genital tract infection. While liraglutide is an injectable which increases the release of insulin which lowers blood glucose levels and commonly causes nausea and increases the risk of pancreatitis.
Q. Does Canagliflozin cause low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia)?
Canagliflozin can cause low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia) but this is not very common. However, the risk of hypoglycemia may increase significantly when used along with insulins and sulfonylureas especially in patients with underlying chronic kidney disease and in elderly patients.
Q. How does Canagliflozin cause hyperkalemia?
Canagliflozin lowers blood glucose levels by removing glucose through urine and patient passes increased amount of urine which may lead to dehydration and increase potassium levels in the blood (hyperkalemia). It is more common in patients with chronic kidney disease and elderly patients.

Content on this page was last updated on 29 June, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)