We all take our healthcare extremely seriously. We carefully evaluate the risks and benefits of taking new medications and would not take medication that would put us unnecessarily at risk. Some risks are inevitable, but it is our right to be able to weigh those risks and make the best decision for ourselves and our own bodies. But what if risks are being hidden from us? What if we can’t actually make a well-informed decision? These questions have become relevant in a recent string of lawsuits involving Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
Invokana, Invokamet, and Invokamet XR are all used to treat type 2 diabetes and have since been linked to diabetic ketoacidosis and forced lower body amputations. The drug is a combination canagliflozin and metformin. Invokana was released by Janssen Pharmaceuticals and was approved by the FDA in 2013. Soon after patients began experiencing these potentially fatal side effects, leading to more clinical trials and legal claims against the pharmaceutical company.
Type 2 diabetes alters the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have a ten-year shorter life expectancy, and an increased risk of heart disease, strokes, and lower body amputations. Independent studies on Invokana have linked the drug to further aggravating conditions such as bone fractures, diabetic ketoacidosis, heart attacks, kidney failure, and lower body amputations. Many of these were never listed as side effects on the drug label. The FDA eventually issued a black box warning, the strongest warning the FDA has the authority to issue. Doctors rushed to switch their patients’ medications after they learned of the risk, but for some it was too late. Injuries linked to the drug’s use has since led to defective drug lawsuits, alleging that the company actively concealed knowledge of the risks to the public. Janssen has still not pulled the drug from the market.
Here is a more detailed list of common serious side effects of Invokana and related drugs:
- Lower-Body Amputation: Clinical trials indicate that amputations were twice as likely for those taking the drug, and even higher for patients who had a previous amputation. Early signs of this include infections, pain, soreness, and tenderness in lower limbs.
- Ketoacidosis: Ketoacidosis develops when the body is unable produce sufficient insulin, forcing the body to break down fat as an alternative and generating ketones. Too many ketones in the blood can lead to comas or death.
- Fournier’s Gengrene: Invokana’s use of SLGT-2 inhibitors has been linked to these flesh-eating bacteria, more common in men. It affects the genitals and leads to tissue decay. If untreated this can be fatal. Note that the risk of Fournier’s is lower than the risk of amputations and ketoacidosis.
The FDA recommends that you contact your physician if you have taken Invokana, Invokamet or Invokamet XR and you have developed unusual pain in your lower body or other strange symptoms. It has stated that you should not stop taking the drug without conferring with your health care professional.
These suits can be filed individually or as part of a class action. We can help you determine the best way to proceed with your claim against Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
When a pharmaceutical company fails to keep a defective drug off the market or fails to disclose of the risks associated with the drug, it may be held liable for patient’s injuries. You are likely entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. There is a statute of limitations on these claims so contact us as soon as possible so we can ensure your claim is not dismissed. At Altman & Altman, we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week – including nights and weekends. To schedule a Free Initial Consultation with one of our dedicated Invokana attorneys, call us at 617.492.3000 or Contact Us Online. All Consultations are completely confidential. You will pay no fees unless we recover on your behalf.