Magana Cathcart & McCarthy

Diabetes Drug Invokana may Create Serious, Harmful Effects

On May 19, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that the diabetes drug Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitors can cause serious health issues by allowing a dangerous buildup of acid in the blood (ketoacidosis). Persons harmed by this condition have begun filing lawsuits against the maker of Invokana for putting a dangerously unsafe drug on the market. If you took Invokana and experienced this dangerous condition or other harmful side effects, contact the attorneys at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy to discuss your possible claim. Read on for more information about Invokana and its potential dangers.

What is Invokana and why can it be dangerous?

Invokana (canagliflozin) is a sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor used to treat type 2 diabetes. Invokana lowers blood sugar by making the kidneys remove sugar from the body through urination. Unfortunately, it has been alleged that use of Invokana can lead to ketoacidosis, or a buildup of ketones in the blood, which are acids created when the body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. In persons with diabetes, this situation arises when low levels of insulin prevent the transport of sugar from the blood into the body’s cells.

Invokana has been linked to more than a dozen trips to the emergency room and hospitalizations for ketoacidosis in 2013 and 2014, and the problem is continuing.

What are the signs of ketoacidosis?

If left untreated, ketoacidosis can lead to a life-threatening loss of consciousness and may even prove fatal. If you are taking Invokana and experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Sleepiness

The FDA is encouraging doctors to discontinue Invokana use in patients where the presence of ketoacidosis has been detected. As a patient, you shouldn’t unilaterally discontinue Invokana or any prescription medicine without checking with your doctor first, but you should be alert for the onset of any symptoms of ketoacidosis.

Government continues to investigate Invokana dangers

The investigation into the safety of Invokana is ongoing, and it appears that other medical health issues may be present in addition to ketoacidosis. During initial trials of the drug, 13 patients underwent a major cardiovascular event in the first 30 days after starting the medication, as compared to only one patient in the placebo group experiencing a similar event. Nevertheless, drug maker Johnson & Johnson, through its Janssen Pharmaceuticals division, continues to churn out Invokana. Sales projections are expected to top $650 million per year.

Get Help for Your Injuries and Hold the Drug Companies Accountable

Pharmaceutical companies make millions off of their drugs, and this profit incentive sometimes clouds their judgment when it comes to safety. The FDA has already warned about the dangers of Invokana, but until any further action is taken by the government, civil litigation may be the swiftest and most effective way to get the drug companies’ attention. Lawsuits can do more than compensate you for your medical expenses and suffering caused by a drug maker’s negligence. They can also raise public awareness and force the drug companies to make their medications safer, releasing them only when they know they are safe and effective.

If you or a loved one experienced ketoacidosis or other harm after taking Invokana, contact Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy at 310-553-6630 for a free consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury and dangerous drug litigation attorney.

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