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Consumer advocates and the FDA are warning that Invokana, a Type 2 diabetes prescription medication, has been linked to serious side effects, including diabetic ketoacidosis, kidney failure, and heart attack.
Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit manufactures Invokana (canagliflozin), a medication to help type-2 diabetics control their blood-sugar levels. It was the first drug of its type approved by the FDA in March 2013. The dangerous drug is part of a new class of diabetes treatments called SGLT2 inhibitors.
Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors help prevent hyperglycemia (high blood-sugar levels) by helping the patient’s kidneys remove excess sugar from the body through the urine. Other medications in the class include Farxiga, Glyxambi, Invokamet, Jardiance, and Xigduo. So far, Invokana is the top-grossing drug in its class.
In the first quarter of 2015, the drug already brought in $278 million, triple what it made last year, with sales projected to eventually exceed $1.2 billion per year. To boost sales, Janssen has heavily promoted the drug both for its approved “on-label” use but also for “off-label” uses such as weight loss.
With more people being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes than ever before, the drug is poised to make more profits for J&J in the future. The drug is also well received by commercial insurance companies and Medicare Part D, meaning it is more likely to be covered and prescribed to a higher number of people.
Consumer protection group Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) linked Invokana to hundreds of severe adverse events within the first 12 months of its market release, mostly falling into six categories. The Invokana label does not warn patients of some of these dangerous side effects. Contact us if you or a loved one has suffered any of the following:
Many of these dangerous side effects manifest themselves very early after a patient begins taking Invokana. For example, many patients have suffered strokes within the first 30 days of taking the drug, as well as other severe side effects within a short time of beginning use.
In May 2015, the FDA issued a Safety Communication for all drugs in the SGLT2 inhibitor class regarding the risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis. So far, the FDA said it received about 20 cases of ketoacidosis and all of these patients had to go to the hospital for treatment of the condition. Its European counterpart, the EMA, has already reported over 100 cases of ketoacidosis related to SGLT2 drugs. Most patients took the drug for two weeks or less before symptoms showed up and almost all had to be hospitalized.
If you developed Ketoacidosis, kidney failure, heart attack, or stroke after taking Invokana or another type 2 diabetes drug, you may have legal options. Raizner Slania is currently accepting Invokana injury and death cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis or these other side effects, you should contact our lawyers immediately who are skilled to drug related injuries for a free case consultation.