Lawsuits against manufacturers of the drug Invokana have been increasing rapidly as reports of serious injuries rise. Potentially life threatening conditions, such as kidney failure and high levels of blood acid are linked to the drug. Invokana, the first in a new class of drugs for diabetes treatment, quickly became a popular medication following FDA approval in 2013. In fact, it generates an estimated $1 billion in sales annually. Contact a Boston Drug Injury Lawyer Today.
Manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, Invokana belongs to a class of drugs known as sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. Invokana is approved as a treatment for type 2 diabetes, along with several other SGLT2s, including Glyxambi, Xigduo XR, Farxiga, and Jardiance. This class of drugs works by altering the function of normal kidneys so that excess sugar is excreted in the patient’s urine. Unfortunately, hundreds of adverse event reports have been linked to the drug. These include medical problems ranging from urinary tract infections to a life-threatening condition known as ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when a build-up of blood acid causes serious health problems that typically require emergency treatment. This condition can also lead to permanent injuries and death.
FDA Issues Updated Warnings for Invokana and Other SGLT2 Inhibitors
In response to these claims, the FDA issued a communication in May of 2015 warning consumers and physicians of the risk of ketoacidosis associated with taking SGLT2 inhibitors. The warning was updated in December, cautioning patients to immediately stop taking Invokana if any ketoacidosis symptoms appear. The FDA warning also cautions that urinary tract infections occurring while taking Invokana may be an early symptom of blood infection or kidney failure.
Common Side-effects and Conditions Linked to Invokana
A recent onslaught of lawsuits allege that Johnson & Johnson did not properly warn consumers and physicians of the serious side-effects associated with Invokana. Although this drug and several other SGLT2 inhibitors are still widely marketed and prescribed, the FDA continues to receive adverse event reports of life-threatening side effects. Common side-effects and conditions include:
- Breathing difficulty
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Urinary tract infections
- Unusual weight loss
- Urofungal infections
- Kidney stones
- Kidney failure
According to a May 6, 2015 report issued by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), there were 457 adverse event reports linked to Invokana during the drug’s first year on the market. This is likely only a small fraction of the actual health problems caused by Invokana. The majority of the adverse event reports were related to kidney problems, ranging from kidney stones to kidney failure. In fact, the incidence of adverse event reports was 92% higher for Invokana than for all other drugs regularly monitored by the ISMP. Furthermore, a new safety warning issued by the FDA cautions consumers and medical professionals of a potential risk of bone fractures in patients using Invokana. This new warning will soon be added to the drug’s label.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Premier Drug Injury Firm
If you or a loved one has suffered any type of injury or illness after taking Invokana or another SGLT2 inhibitor, seek medical attention immediately. These conditions can become life-threatening if not treated in time. At Altman & Altman, LLP, our skilled drug injury team has been protecting the rights of drug injury victims for over 50 years. Johnson & Johnson’s failure to adequately warn of the risk of health problems linked to Invokana may have harmed thousands of patients. If you feel you have been harmed from taking an SGLT2 inhibitor, we can help you determine the best legal strategy for moving forward. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other associated costs. Big pharmaceutical companies should be held accountable when their negligence causes harm. We can help. Call Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free consultation about your case.