The diabetes medication canagliflozin, sold under the brand name Invokana, has been under scrutiny by the health administration organizations in both the United States and Canada. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet issued a formal recall for the drug, many people have reported dangerous Invokana side effects.
The main reason doctors prescribe Invokana to patients is to address symptoms of type II diabetes and control blood sugar. The drug only works on type II diabetes, and in recent years several patients have filed lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, citing the drug caused severe kidney problems, ketoacidosis, and infections requiring amputation. So far there have been thousands of similar claims filed against Janssen, and most of those claims currently remain in legal limbo.
Janssen Pharmaceutical is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, and the parent company has faced several class-action lawsuits in recent years for other products. Invokana is an SGLT2 inhibitor capable of blocking the protein that allows the body to absorb glucose into the bloodstream. The kidneys typically handle reabsorption of glucose into the bloodstream, but SGLT2 inhibitors cause the body to expel glucose through urine instead. The developers of the medication had no original intention to treat type II diabetes specifically.
Dangerous Side Effects
Janssen Pharmaceuticals develops all three varieties of canagliflozin including Invokana, Invokamet, and Invokamet XR, and all three varieties have shown potential to cause dangerous side effects:
- Heart disease. Current evidence suggests Invokana users face an increased risk of developing cardiovascular problems and a higher risk of suffering heart attacks. The FDA continues to investigate the cardiovascular risks of Invokana.
- Acute pancreatitis. Although rare, medical researchers have linked Invokana use to potentially fatal inflammation of the pancreas and interference with hormone production, particularly insulin.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis. Elevated ketone levels in the blood can cause this condition, which entails brain swelling, coma, and possibly death.
- Kidney failure. The FDA confirmed in 2016 that Invokana use increases the risk of kidney failure, and patients who have already experienced renal failure may face fatal complications if they take Invokana afterward.
- Lower body amputation. Diabetic individuals face a high risk of nerve damage, poor blood circulation, and peripheral artery disease that may lead to amputation of the feet or legs. An FDA study showed that Invokana users are roughly twice as likely to require amputation than patients who took placebos during a clinical study.
It is essential for anyone taking any type of canagliflozin to understand the risks involved with this medication in its various forms and pay close attention to any sudden changes in their medical condition.
If you suspect that any canagliflozin product has caused a kidney problem or other health issue, speak with your doctor immediately and consider contacting an attorney to discuss potential legal recourse. Review your case with a qualified injury attorney in Ohio, call Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. at 419-843-6663 and request a free consultation today.