Some patients with Type II Diabetes struggle to lower their blood sugar, or A1C, even with changes in diet and exercise. For these patients, a class of medications called sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors may be helpful. However, many patients have reported adverse effects, some serious, from certain SGLT2 inhibitors, including Invokana.
At Goldblatt + Singer, we want to do everything possible to hold big pharmaceutical companies responsible for negligence and wrongdoing. Contact our law firm and an experienced dangerous drugs lawyer will evaluate the evidence and circumstances of your case to determine the value of your lawsuit. We can offer a detailed consultation free of charge. Most patients who have filed a case against the manufacturers of Invokana are looking to receive compensation for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and wrongful death.
Invokana is Prescription medication for Type II Diabetes produced by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a division of Johnson & Johnson. This drug is intended to reduce A1C numbers by affecting how the kidneys process glucose. It is not designed for Type I Diabetes or individuals with a history of diabetic ketoacidosis (increased ketones). It’s also never been shown to be safe or effective for kids younger than 18.
Invokana, which is in the SGLT2 drug class, has been found to cause gangrene of the genitals, a flesh-eating genital infection also known as necrotizing fasciitis or Fournier’s gangrene. Additionally, the FDA warned in 2018 that Invokana, Invokamet, Farxiga, and Jardiance can lead to an increased risk of amputations. At one point, they required a boxed warning for these medications (a warning included in the drug packaging) noting the risk of amputation, but in 2020, they removed that requirement. Their statement noted that the risk of amputation was still higher with SGLT2 inhibitors than without them and that healthcare providers should consider the risk factors for amputation before prescribing diabetes medication.
It’s important to recognize the potential signs of this serious condition, because you may need treatment, including antibiotics and even surgery. The sooner you get treatment, the better, so if you have any of these symptoms, please seek medical attention immediately.
Unfortunately, necrotizing fasciitis isn’t the only risk with Invokana and other drugs in its class. Invokana was approved for use in 2013, and by 2015, the FDA had received over 100 reports of acute kidney injury in patients using the drug. (There were likely more cases that went unreported.) In 2016, the FDA expanded warnings about the potential for kidney damage and included recommendations for reducing the risk of kidney injury when taking Invokana.
According to the FDA, the two main symptoms of acute kidney injury to look out for are decreased urination or swelling of the legs and feet. If you notice these, you should contact your doctor immediately. Don’t stop taking Invokana before speaking with your healthcare provider, as this could cause sudden changes in your blood sugar.
The American Diabetes Association describes ketoacidosis – also known as acidosis or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) – as dangerous levels of blood acids, or ketones, which can cause diabetic coma and may even be fatal. This condition often occurs in Type I Diabetes but is relatively rare in Type II Diabetes. Because Invokana works in the kidneys, causing glucose to be reabsorbed into the blood, it may cause ketones to rise as the body breaks down fat for energy. After reports of about 20 cases of this serious condition from patients using SGLT2 inhibitors, the FDA began a review of this drug class.
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a known side effect of many diabetes medications. But one study found that SGLT2 inhibitors carry about three times the risk of DKA than a different class of drugs called DPP-4 inhibitors. Invokana was also associated with a higher risk of DKA than two other drugs in the class, Jardiance, and Farxiga.
Unfortunately, ketoacidosis can sometimes cause severe organ damage, and the treatment options for this condition can also lead to side effects like brain swelling, low blood sugar, and low blood potassium. If you suffered serious injury from ketoacidosis while taking Invokana, you may deserve compensation.
Early symptoms of DKA include an increase in thirst and urination. If left untreated, DKA can progress to more serious symptoms, including:
If you experience these symptoms, please call your healthcare provider right away.
There are several grounds for dangerous drug lawsuits. Depending on your specific situation, your Invokana lawsuit lawyer may file a lawsuit for one or more of the following reasons:
Product manufacturers, including pharmaceutical companies, have a duty to ensure their products are safe for consumer use. Of course, all medications have risks, but in some cases, the risks are not known until many patients have suffered complications. If the drug turns out to be unreasonably dangerous, the manufacturer could be liable.
Missouri’s strict liability law states that the defendant in product liability claims, such as dangerous drug cases, is liable under the following circumstances:
Many cases revolve around whether or not a drug is unreasonably dangerous. Your lawyer will work to gather evidence that the risks and dangers of the medication were unreasonable for the circumstances.
Some dangerous drug lawsuits are based on the product manufacturer’s failure to properly explain the risks and potential side effects of a medication, especially if there is evidence that the company was aware of the risks. The manufacturer is expected to let potential users know the risks of a medication, including adverse effects, even if these are rare. Companies also have a duty to warn consumers if a drug might be dangerous in specific situations, such as when used with certain other medications, or if the patient has another underlying health condition.
In the case of Invokana, there are multiple reports that the manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, received notice of unexplained ketoacidosis occurring in patients on Invokana as early as 2013. One former company executive told Reuters that key decision-makers ignored his recommendations to include stronger warning for patients and healthcare providers. The FDA later made this decision for Invokana, but by then many patients had suffered severe and sometimes life-threatening complications from ketoacidosis.
In a smaller number of cases, the risks are known, but the patient’s physician prescribed a medication that was not safe based on their medical history. For example, if you had a history of non-healing foot wounds due to your diabetes, and your doctor prescribed Invokana over other drugs without considering the higher risk of amputation, then the physician may be liable for medical malpractice.
Missouri law only gives you two years from the date of discovery to file a lawsuit in a dangerous drug case. The “date of discovery” is the date you were diagnosed with complications that may have been caused by your medication. Not all patients are aware that their complications were caused by a dangerous drug – in many cases, their doctor may not have offered any explanation for what happened. For many people, this may mean they don’t have much time left to file their case. If you suffered serious complications while taking Invokana, even if you’re not sure whether they were related to the drug or not, we recommend contacting a dangerous drugs attorney as soon as possible to preserve your legal rights.
Goldblatt + Singer: The St. Louis Injury Law Firm is currently investigating potential Invokana lawsuits for anyone hospitalized due to gangrene of the genitals, ketoacidosis, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), ketosis, or acidosis while using Invokana, Invokamet, Farxiga, Jardiance, or any other Type 2 diabetes medication in the sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors class.
If you were hospitalized with infection or gangrene of the genitals after taking Invokana or another medication in its class, if you were hospitalized for ketoacidosis, or if you had an amputation after taking one of these drugs, please contact our legal staff today for a free consultation. If you have a case, you may be able to obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages related to your injuries.
Goldblatt + Singer drug injury lawyers can assist those injured by gangrene of the genitals, amputation, or ketoacidosis after taking diabetes medication such as Invokana, Invokamet, Jardiance, and others. Please contact us today at (314) 888-1000 to learn more. There is no obligation, and if we take your case, there is no fee until we win.