Noble McIntyre on August 25, 2015
If you are living with diabetes, you might have heard of Invokana. This drug, manufactured by Johnson+Johnson was FDA-approved a few years ago as an SGLT2 inhibitor. That means that Invokana (generic: canagliflozin) causes blood sugar to leave the body through urine. It is a drug that has been commonly taken by patients who have Type 2 diabetes. Other inhibitors in this class include Farxiga and Xigduo by AstraZeneca, Jardiance by Lilly, and Glyxambi by Boehringer Ingelheim. Invokana, the popular Johnson+Johnson version, is also marketed as Invokamet when combined with metformin.
The danger of Invokana and these other inhibitors now available is that they could cause ketoacidosis. This happens when the body produces too many ketones, or acids. If you are experiencing ketoacidosis, you might have:
The FDA has recommended that if you experience these symptoms while taking a SGLT2 inhibitor, you should seek medical attention right away. Of the 20 patients of whom the FDA is aware who had ketoacidosis, each had to be treated at a hospital. Most of them had been taking the drug for about two weeks when they started to experience these symptoms.
Since the FDA approved Invokana in 2013, it has been growing steadily in popularity. In fact, in Johnson+Johnson made $278 million from Invokana in the first three months of 2015, which is triple the amount it made in 2014. It has been far-outselling the other inhibitors, but at what cost? It’s no accident that Invokana is the best-selling inhibitor drug on the market for Type 2 diabetes. The manufacturer reportedly made $26.9 million in payments to doctors related to this drug, which translates to 69,061 doctors nationwide who received those payments in 2014.
While Type 2 diabetes, itself, can lead to serious problems if left untreated, patients who take these drugs need to be cautious about these additional SGLT2 inhibitor risks. In some of the reported ketoacidosis cases, the condition might have been triggered by major illness, reduced food or fluid intake, or a reduced dose of insulin. Regardless, the FDA is continuing to investigate these drugs and will consider recommending changes to the prescribing information.
The ketoacidosis that could be caused by Invokana has led to other, very serious conditions such as kidney failure, dehydration or fluid imbalance, kidney stones, urinary tract infections and abnormal weight loss. Because Invokana works on the kidneys, the possibility exists that certain cases of kidney failure are associated with the drug. Lawyers, doctors and patients are beginning to question whether or not the drug manufacturer gave proper warning to patients and physicians about the risks of this drug and others like it.
If you believe that you have been injured as a result of taking Invokana or another drug, time is of the essence. There are limits on how long you have to file a lawsuit, so don’t hesitate to contact us right away!