Diabetes affects 29 million people in the United States alone and is the country’s seventh leading cause of death. People with type 2 diabetes can suffer from serious health problems if left untreated, including blindness and stroke. Invokana is a drug aimed at lowering blood sugar levels and increasing glycemic control in adults suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Invokana (canagliflozin) inhibits sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2), which helps the reabsorption of glucose into the bloodstream and has until recently been hailed as a major advancement in diabetes treatment. With Invokana, excess glucose is flushed out of the body instead of being filtered through the kidneys, decreasing blood sugar levels. Invokana can also be used with other diabetes medications, including the primary drug currently used for treating type 2 diabetes, metformin.
Invokana has been proven to lower blood sugar levels in patients, but the FDA has listed dozens of problems associated with the drug, ranging from yeast infections to kidney failure. More and more patients are being advised to stay informed about the risks associated with the drug before taking it, and there are still questions concerning the drug’s safety and possible long-term effects.
Although Invokana has been FDA-approved to treat type 2 diabetes since 2013, continued studies into the drug’s potential health risks for patients have uncovered a series of minor and major health-related issues, including:
There are other serious health risks still being investigated by the FDA, including concerns about bone health, cardiovascular problems, pancreatitis, liver abnormalities, and adverse pregnancy effects. The increasing number of complaints and lawsuits involving Invokana has led to increased FDA attention to the drug, and widespread worry that the drug can trigger dangerous side effects.
In May of 2015, the FDA issued a safety announcement detailing the potential risks of Invokana, specifically the condition of having too much acid in the blood, known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This is a very serious state that more often than not leads to diabetic coma or even death. DKA develops slowly, then escalates quickly toward life-threatening conditions once vomiting occurs. Early symptoms of DKA can include dry mouth, frequent urination, nausea, fatigue, and high blood sugar levels.
Invokana was listed among other medications that were involved in more than 20 cases of confirmed ketoacidosis since December of 2015. For these hospitalized patients, symptoms of DKA began occurring as early as just two weeks after taking Invokana to treat their type 2 diabetes. Other lawsuits against Invokana’s drug manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, have cited serious urinary tract infections, kidney failure, and heart attack, sometimes leading to permanent disability.
Plaintiffs against Johnson & Johnson have complained the company never warned patients or the FDA about the dangers of Invokana before mass marketing it to type 2 diabetes patients and that only post-market investigations were made into the potentially devastating health hazards – much too late for the thousands of patients who’d already unknowingly taken Invokana.
If you’ve taken Invokana and experienced any adverse reactions to the drug, talk with the professionals at Sweeney Merrigan Law in Boston to discuss your case in detail. We’ll help you review your options and choose the best process moving forward. Don’t let your plight against Invokana go unheard – contact us today to begin your journey toward justice.