Invokana vs Victoza

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For patients with type 2 diabetes, certain drugs that alter the glucose levels in the body can help in managing blood sugar and preventing complications. Invokana and Victoza are two such drugs prescribed for this purpose. They each function differently but both have a significant impact on maintaining optimum glucose levels in diabetic patients. Invokana is a sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor, which works by blocking the reabsorption of glucose by the kidneys, resulting in more glucose being excreted through urine. On the other hand, Victoza falls under glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists class of medicines which mimic the action of incretin hormones like GLP-1 to stimulate insulin release when there's high level of sugar in blood.

What is Invokana?

Canagliflozin (the generic name for Invokana) was the first drug of the SGLT2 inhibitors class, which marked a significant development upon earlier classes of diabetes medications. Canagliflozin was first approved by the FDA in 2013. It works by preventing glucose from being reabsorbed into the blood, effectively "trapping" it in the kidneys where it can be excreted through urine. This unique mechanism helps lower blood sugar levels and is particularly effective for those with Type 2 diabetes.

On the other hand, Liraglutide (Victoza) belongs to a newer class of drugs known as GLP-1 receptor agonists and got its approval from FDA in 2010. Rather than working on kidney like Invokana, Victoza works by mimicking GLP-1 (a hormone that regulates appetite and food intake), thereby reducing hunger and helping patients lose weight.

While both drugs have been shown to be effective at controlling high blood sugar levels; however their side effects are different due to their distinct mechanisms of action. The choice between these two will depend largely on an individual patient's specific needs and how they tolerate each medication.

What conditions is Invokana approved to treat?

Invokana and Victoza are both approved for the management of different aspects of type 2 diabetes:

  • Invokana (canagliflozin) is used to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus, as well as to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke in patients with known heart disease.

  • Victoza (liraglutide) is employed not only to improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes but also used along with diet and exercise to prevent cardiovascular events like heart attack, stroke, and death from these conditions. Additionally, it's used for weight management in certain patients when utilized alongside a low-calorie meal plan and increased physical activity.

How does Invokana help with these illnesses?

Invokana (Canagliflozin) helps to manage type 2 diabetes by reducing the amount of glucose reabsorbed in the kidneys, resulting in more glucose being excreted through urine. It does this by inhibiting sodium-glucose transport protein 2 (SGLT-2), which is responsible for at least 90% of renal glucose reabsorption. As a result, blood sugar levels can be maintained lower for longer periods of time. Glucose is a form of sugar that acts as an energy source throughout the body but having too much glucose in your bloodstream can lead to health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. Therefore, by reducing the reabsorption of glucose, Invokana can limit negative effects associated with high blood sugar and help patients manage their condition.

On the other hand, Victoza (Liraglutide) lowers blood sugar levels by mimicking a hormone called GLP-1 that stimulates insulin production when there are elevated levels of blood sugars while also delaying food leaving your stomach to prevent sharp rises in blood sugars after meals. Both medications offer different ways to tackle type 2 diabetes and should always be taken under medical guidance considering their side effects profile.

What is Victoza?

Victoza is the brand name for liraglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1). This means it promotes insulin secretion by binding to GLP-1 receptors on pancreatic beta cells. Unlike Invokana, which acts as an inhibitor of sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) in the kidneys leading to glucose excretion in urine, Victoza mainly targets the pancreas and indirectly affects kidney function through its impact on blood sugar levels. Victoza was approved by the FDA in 2010 and is used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for type 2 diabetes. The drug does not interfere with digestion or absorption of carbohydrates because it doesn't act on enzymes involved in these processes unlike some other anti-diabetic medications. Its side effect profile also differs; specifically, Victoza tends not to cause urinary tract infections or genital yeast infections which are common side effects associated with SGLT2 inhibitors like Invokana. Also noteworthy is that Victoza can help promote weight loss—a beneficial feature for many patients dealing with obesity-related type 2 diabetes.

What conditions is Victoza approved to treat?

Victoza has been approved by the FDA for use in patients with type 2 diabetes to help manage their blood sugar levels. Additionally, it is also used:

  • To lower the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke or death in adults with type 2 diabetes who are currently dealing with known heart disease.
  • Alongside a healthy diet and regular exercise to aid weight management in adults with certain health conditions.

How does Victoza help with these illnesses?

Victoza, similar to Invokana, plays a significant role in managing Type 2 diabetes by regulating the amount of glucose (sugar) in your body. It does this by mimicking an intestinal hormone called GLP-1 that tells the pancreas to produce insulin when blood sugar levels are high. Unlike Invokana which works by helping kidneys get rid of glucose from your bloodstream, Victoza is known for its ability to slow digestion and prevent the liver from making too much glucose. This dual action can be particularly beneficial for patients struggling with both post-meal spikes as well as high fasting blood sugars. Victoza may also help protect against heart disease and has been shown to assist with weight loss, two frequent concerns among people with diabetes.

How effective are both Invokana and Victoza?

Both canagliflozin (Invokana) and liraglutide (Victoza) have established histories of success in managing type 2 diabetes, with their initial FDA approvals coming only a few years apart. Given that they act by different mechanisms, they may be prescribed under distinct circumstances. Canagliflozin works by blocking the reabsorption of glucose in the kidneys, thereby promoting its excretion through urine. Liraglutide is an injectable medication which mimics an intestinal hormone to stimulate insulin release.

The effectiveness of both drugs has been studied extensively but not directly compared in a double-blind clinical trial. However, individual studies indicate similar efficacy for both medications in reducing HbA1c levels - a key measure of long-term blood sugar control. It's worth noting that patient responses can vary depending on various factors such as body weight and kidney function.

In terms of safety profiles, both Invokana and Victoza have generally been well-tolerated in most populations. However, it's important to note that each drug comes with unique potential side effects; Invokana may lead to an increased risk for urinary tract infections due to its mode of action while Victoza could potentially cause gastrointestinal upset owing to its hormonal nature.

A comprehensive review from 2013 highlighted Invokana’s adverse effect profile as favorable over many other antidiabetic agents due to its ability to lower blood pressure and assist with weight loss alongside controlling blood sugar levels – making it one of the more widely-prescribed diabetic medications worldwide.

On the other hand,a 2016 meta-analysis indicated that Victoza was more effective than placebo at achieving glycemic control and even showed cardiovascular benefits thus becoming a favored option among clinicians dealing with patients who also have heart disease risk factors.

Owing largely to differences between these two drugs' modes of action,the choice between them often depends upon individual patient characteristics such as comorbidities,personal preferences,and tolerability rather than any significant difference in overall efficacy or safety profiles between these two medications.

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

At what dose is Invokana typically prescribed?

The dosage of Invokana typically starts at 100 mg once daily, taken before the first meal of the day. Based on efficacy and tolerability, this dose can be increased to 300 mg/day. On the other hand, Victoza is initiated with a dosage of 0.6 mg per day for one week. The purpose is to reduce gastrointestinal symptoms associated with initial therapy. After one week, the dose should be increased to 1.2 mg daily; based on efficacy and tolerability it may further be escalated to a maximum dose of 1.8 mg/day if needed for blood sugar control.

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At what dose is Victoza typically prescribed?

Victoza treatment for type 2 diabetes generally starts with a dosage of 0.6 mg per day, administered by subcutaneous injection (under the skin). After one week, the dose is usually increased to 1.2 mg/day. This can be further escalated to 1.8 mg/day based on individual patient response and tolerance level after at least one week of treatment with the previous dose. The maximum daily dose should not exceed 1.8mg/day, divided into a single dose and injected at any time during the day irrespective of meal times.

What are the most common side effects for Invokana?

Common side effects of Invokana may include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Thirst and dry mouth
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Nausea and discomfort in the stomach area
  • Fatigue (general weakness)
  • Genital yeast infections in both men and women
  • Urinary tract infections

On the other hand, Victoza may cause these common side effects:

  • Nausea, vomiting, indigestion
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Headache
  • Decreased appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue (general tiredness)

Always consult with your healthcare provider if any of these symptoms persist or become bothersome.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Invokana?

Invokana and Victoza are both medications used to manage type 2 diabetes. While they're generally safe, these drugs can occasionally cause serious side effects:

  • Signs of genital infections such as pain or tenderness, redness or swelling in the genital area, accompanied by fever or malaise
  • Severe allergic reactions: rashes, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, difficulty breathing
  • Kidney problems: changes in urination frequency and amount, swelling feet/ankles/hands
  • Bone fractures with minimal trauma involved
  • Dehydration symptoms like dizziness/fainting/light-headedness

In extreme cases Invokana may lead to ketoacidosis – a serious condition where the body produces high levels of ketones. Symptoms include nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, tiredness and shortness of breath.

Victoza has also been linked with pancreatitis. If you experience severe stomach/abdominal/back pain with nausea/vomiting contact your health provider immediately.

If any such symptoms appear after starting either drug it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention.

What are the most common side effects for Victoza?

Victoza, a medication used in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, can potentially cause an array of side effects including:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Loss of appetite leading to weight loss
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • A fast heart rate or palpitations
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Skin reactions such as a rash at the injection site Increased urination is also possible due to its mechanism of action. While less common, some people may experience more serious side effects like kidney problems (indicated by changes in urination), severe stomach pain, and signs of pancreatitis.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Victoza?

While Victoza is generally safe and effective for managing blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes, it does have potential side effects that could be serious. These may include:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as itching, hives, swelling of the face or throat, difficulty breathing
  • Severe pain in your stomach area (abdomen) that will not go away; this pain may happen with or without vomiting and can be a symptom of pancreatitis
  • The onset or worsening of heart failure symptoms including shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, rapid weight gain
  • Kidney problems: Urination changes like urinating less frequently, blood in urine (a possible sign of kidney injury)
  • A lump or swelling in your neck (possibly indicating thyroid cancer); hoarseness trouble swallowing or shortness of breath
  • Severe low blood sugar leading to seizures or passing out

If you encounter any such issues while using Victoza, it’s essential to seek immediate medical attention.

Contraindications for Invokana and Victoza?

Both Invokana and Victoza, along with most other diabetes medications, may cause serious side effects in some individuals. If you notice symptoms like severe abdominal pain, increased heart rate or urination, unusual weakness or tiredness, swelling of the face/lips/tongue/throat or difficulty breathing; please seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Invokana nor Victoza can be taken if you are suffering from certain conditions such as kidney disease (for Invokana) or a personal/family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (for Victoza). Always tell your physician which medications you are taking before starting a new one to prevent dangerous interactions. For instance, if you're on insulin therapy or drugs that increase insulin production in the body like sulfonylureas while considering Victoza can lead to low blood sugar levels. Similarly for Invokana users who take diuretics - there's an elevated risk of dehydration and low blood pressure.

How much do Invokana and Victoza cost?

For the brand name versions of these drugs:

  • The price of 30 tablets of Invokana (100 mg) averages around $500, which works out to approximately $16/day.
  • The price of 2 pens (3mL each) of Victoza is about $800, with a pen lasting between 10 and 20 days depending on your dose. Thus it works out to roughly $40-$80 per month or about $1.33 - $2.66 per day.

If you are in the higher dosage range for Victoza (i.e., up to 1.8 mg/day), then brand-name Invokana can be less expensive on a per-day treatment basis, especially if you're taking the lower dose recommended for most patients starting this medication (100mg once daily). However, note that cost should not be a primary consideration in determining which drug is best suited for managing your diabetes.

As it stands now, generic versions for either Invokana (canagliflozin) or Victoza (liraglutide) aren’t available yet due to patent protections — so prices remain high.

Popularity of Invokana and Victoza

Canagliflozin, known by its brand name Invokana, is a type of medication used to control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. In the United States during 2020, it was estimated that about 1.5 million prescriptions were written for canagliflozin. This drug accounts for nearly 20% of SGLT2 inhibitor prescriptions, which are medications designed to help the kidneys remove sugar from the body through urine.

Liraglutide or Victoza is another medication used for managing blood glucose levels in individuals with type two diabetes and also assists with weight loss. Approximately 3 million Americans were prescribed this medication in 2020 accounting for just under half of all GLP-1 receptor agonist prescriptions - a class of drugs that slow digestion and reduce blood sugar levels. Over the past decade, liraglutide's prevalence has been steadily increasing due to its dual role in controlling both diabetes and obesity.


Both Invokana (canagliflozin) and Victoza (liraglutide) are commonly used in the management of type 2 diabetes, with substantial clinical evidence supporting their efficacy. These medications may be combined in some instances, but this is subject to careful evaluation by a healthcare professional due to potential interactions. They operate via different mechanisms: Invokana works primarily by inhibiting glucose reabsorption in the kidneys while Victoza enhances insulin secretion and reduces glucagon secretion.

Invokana has been considered as an initial treatment option when metformin cannot be tolerated or contraindicated, whereas Victoza is often utilized as an add-on therapy to existing oral antidiabetic drugs or insulin when sufficient glycemic control is not achieved. Yet, it’s worth noting that both can be used as monotherapy.

Both medications have generic forms available which could significantly help patients who must pay out-of-pocket expenses. The effects of these two drugs might not emerge immediately; thus, they may necessitate an adjustment period.

In terms of side effects profiles, both drugs are generally well-tolerated but bear unique risk factors - Invokana being associated with higher risks of ketoacidosis and urinary tract infections while Victoza carrying a black box warning for thyroid C-cell tumors. Patients should closely monitor their symptoms upon initiation and during treatment; if any adverse reactions occur such as severe abdominal pain or trouble breathing, immediate medical attention should be sought.