Invokana, the trade name for the drug Canagliflozin, has been receiving special scrutiny since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year issued a safety announcement to warn that use of this drug might cause a serious condition that could lead to hospitalization. In December, the FDA went further and required that a new warning label be placed on the drug, and that the manufacturer launch a new study to track the drug’s safety in users for at least the next five years.

If you have used Invokana and have suffered harm because of it, you may be able to pursue a claim against the manufacturer for reimbursement of medical costs and any other expenses that may have resulted from the use this drug.

Diabetes Drug with Complications

Invokana became available in the US in 2013 and has been prescribed to tens of thousands of people suffering from type 2 diabetes as a way to lower their blood sugar levels. This kind of treatment can be very important, because when ignored diabetes can lead to many serious health problems, including kidney damage, heart disease, and blindness. In its first review of reports of side effects and negative reactions, the FDA discovered that during the initial year and a half after the drug was introduced at least 20 Invokana users developed a dangerous condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis. By the December update, which reviewed more reports and was expanded to cover similar drugs, a total of 73 cases had been discovered, as well as 19 life-threatening blood and kidney infections potentially tied to the use of these drugs. All of those patients required emergency room visits or hospitalization to address their conditions.

Ketoacidosis: A Serious Condition

Ketoacidosis develops when the body’s insulin levels drop too low and the body begins producing high levels of substances that raise the acidity of the blood. Ketoacidosis can develop very quickly. When not treated it brings serious complications, including the risk of kidney failure, and can eventually lead to death. Symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unusual fatigue or sleepiness
  • Confusion
  • Invokana patients are also warned to be alert to signs of urinary tract infections, which could become more severe.

In addition to ketoacidosis and related problems, it has been suggested that Invokana might be connected to an increased risk of bone fractures, other heart and kidney problems, and stroke, but the extent of these problems is still being investigated.

Invokana, Also Others

The class of drugs that includes Invokana (SGLT2 inhibitors) generates a great deal of revenue and so has attracted other manufacturers to the market. Invokana alone was estimated to have seen as much as $1.2 billion in sales last year. Invokana is produced by the Janssen Pharmaceuticals division of Johnson & Johnson, but similar drugs are marketed by Eli Lilly (called Jardiance), AstraZeneca (Farxiga), and others. Users of all of these drugs should be cautious and stay alert to future scientific and legal developments. All of these drugs are included in the FDA’s advisories.

Knowledgeable Drug Injury Attorneys

If you or someone close to you has been harmed by the use of Invokana or another SGLT2 inhibitor drug, it’s important that you seek restitution from the manufacturer. Wilson Kehoe Winingham has experience with cases involving drug injuries. Give us a call to see how we can apply our knowledge to your specific case. The consultation is free, and if we take your case you’ll owe us nothing unless we successfully recover damages for you. Reach us at 317-920-6400 or contact us online at your convenience.