Virginia Beach Invokana Lawyer
Invokana (canagliflozin) is a newer diabetes drug that lowers blood sugar in people who suffer from type 2 diabetes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has linked Invokana to an increased risk of lower limb amputation.
Invokana is also linked to ketoacidosis, a condition the causes the body to produce high levels of blood acids called ketones. Symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, and difficulty breathing and may lead to hospitalization. If this or other symptoms have occurred after taking this drug, a Virginia Beach Invokana lawyer should be consulted to help you. Our dangerous drug attorneys are experienced helping those who have been injured as the result of a dangerous drug and may be able to assist you.
What is Invokana?
Invokana is a Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor. These are newer types of Type 2 diabetes medications. Invokana (canagliflozin) was the first drug in this class approved in 2013.
These drugs are becoming increasingly popular with diabetics. In the period between October 2014 and September 2015, doctors wrote 1.5 million prescriptions for Invokana according to the FDA. The drugs are effective in controlling excess blood glucose and lowering hemoglobin A1C — a measurement of blood sugar — in people who have Type 2 diabetes. The drug works in the kidneys to remove sugar from the body via the urine.
Invokana was the first of the new family of SGLT2 inhibitors to be approved by the FDA. The drug is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals division. Invokana hit the market in 2013 and soon became popular. According to a Bloomberg report, J&J spent $19.8 million marketing the drug to doctors in 2014.
In the same year, the FDA approved Invokamet, a drug in the same family. It approved Invokamet XR in 2016. Janssen continues to market Invokana hard in an expensive advertising campaign.
FDA Warns Diabetes Drug Invokana Increases Amputation Risk
In the summer of 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded that the type 2 diabetes drugs Invokana, Invokamet and Invokamet XR, create an increased risk of foot and leg amputations among users.
The FDA required new warnings, including a prominent Boxed Warning, to be added to the canagliflozin drug labels to describe this risk.
The FDA said patients taking canagliflozin should notify their healthcare professionals immediately if they develop new pain or tenderness, ulcers or sores, or infections in their legs or feet.
Healthcare professionals were urged to consider factors that might predispose patients to amputations including a history of prior amputation, neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease, and diabetic foot ulcers. Patients taking Invokana and other canagliflozin drugs should discontinue taking the drug if these complications occur.
The FDA concluded in trials that leg and foot amputations occurred approximately twice as often in patients treated with canagliflozin compared to patients treated with a placebo, making it important those impacted consult with a Virginia Beach Invokana lawyer.
Amputations of an Invokana user’s toe and middle of the foot were the most common. However, amputations involving the leg, below and above the knee, also took place. Some patients had more than one amputation, some involving both limbs.
The reasons for the increased amputation risk are unclear. Experts believe because the medicine works via the kidneys, a patient may become dehydrated, triggering a potential constriction of the blood vessels in the limbs and reducing blood flow. If blood flow decreases and a foot ulcer develops, a serious bacterial infection may require amputation.
Invokana is Linked to Ketoacidosis
The FDA issued a safety communication in May 2015 warning that SGLT2 drugs may cause ketoacidosis, a serious condition where the body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones. Diabetics who experience this condition may vomit, experience abdominal pain, have difficulty breathing, suffer fatigue and may require hospitalization.
Other Side-Effects of Diabetes Drug Invokana
Also in 2015, the FDA issued a warning stating Invokana and similar drugs can cause too much acid in the blood and lead to serious urinary tract infections. Both of these conditions can result in hospitalization. The FDA warns life-threatening blood infections may develop from urinary tract infections linked to these drugs.
There is limited research about the impact of these drugs on pregnant women but animal studies showed irreversible kidney problems in fetuses, which can be addressed with the help of a Virginia Beach Invokana attorney.
Lawsuits are Filed over Invokana
Thousands of lawsuits over Invokana amputations are progressing and are likely to result in a first trial in September 2018.
More than 1,000 Invokana cases were filed from 2016, reported the National Review. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered the consolidation of Invokana cases into a Multi-District Litigation in the United States District Court, District of New Jersey. People from across the country who claim this medication caused serious damage to their health have filed that cases.They allege the drug led to amputations and ketoacidosis.
How a Virginia Beach Invokana Lawyer Can Help
If you are a diabetic who has suffered adverse effects from the use of Invokana, Invokamet or Invokamet XR, such as an amputation, please call our Virginia Beach Invokana lawyers as soon as possible. We will make sure your claim is properly handled along with others in the mass tort litigation.