Invokana is a Type 2 diabetes medication developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. It belongs to a class of drugs known as sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. These drugs are designed to help control blood sugar levels in adults. Invokana works by inhibiting some kidney functions to remove excess sugar from the body via urination.
Introduced to the market in 2013, Invokana patients soon developed a number of health problems. Several adverse health events have been linked to SGLT2 inhibitors, some resulting in hospitalization. In 2015, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about serious possible complications for patients using the medication. Those complications include:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Urinary tract infections
- Kidney failure and impairment
- Kidney stones
- Bone fractures
Patients have also reported side effects such as abnormal weight loss, infections, nausea, and vomiting. Janssen has faced numerous lawsuits as a result.
Many of the side effects involve the kidneys, an organ that is vital to everyday life. Kidneys help filter and remove waste products from the bloodstream, among other functions. Damage to, or failure of, the kidneys can result in serious and often life-threatening conditions. These may include lethargy, confusion, weakness, and heart problems. For some patients dealing with kidney problems, the consequences can even include death.
The FDA’s 2015 notice specifically warned that Invokana could cause diabetic ketoacidosis and bone fractures, among other complications. Diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, is the result of dangerously low insulin production. When this happens, the body begins to break down fat, which produces a buildup of acids called ketones. DKA may result in extensive hospital stays and can be fatal.
Symptoms of DKA include:
- Abdominal pain
- Trouble breathing
Bone fractures, along with decreased bone density, are another side effect observed in Invokana patients. Previous medications for treating Type 2 diabetes have been linked to these and similar problems. Because of the strong link between Invokana and bone fractures, Janssen was required to update its warning label. But this was only after numerous patients had already started using it.
Drug manufacturers such as Jannsen often rush their medications to the market, in an effort to rapidly generate profits. This often results in poor or insufficient drug testing. As a result, patients begin using a medication that isn’t properly or fully vetted for safety risks.
Patients who are experiencing any adverse health effects are advised to speak to their healthcare providers. You should not stop or change your medication regimen unless told to do so by your doctor. In the meantime, however, you should keep a record of any medical issues that may be linked to Invokana.
Janssen may be held liable for injuries resulting from Invokana. A number of patients have sought compensation based on allegations that the drug is dangerous or defective. Other causes of action have focused on negligence or failure to adequately warn patients. Pharmaceutical companies are obligated to sell drugs that are safe for their intended users. When they fail to do so, people get hurt, even killed. That’s where we step in. Patients seeking to hold Janssen liable may be eligible to receive compensation for:
- Medical bills and related expenses
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Wrongful death
Let Our Dedicated and Experienced Attorneys Work for You
Drug liability cases are complex and require diligence in assembling evidence, expert witnesses, and more. Because of the nature of these lawsuits, you need an experienced legal team fighting on your behalf. The attorneys at Gacovino, Lake & Associates are committed to representing the victims of unsafe medications. We will work with you to understand your current health conditions and investigate how Invokana may be connected. Contact us today for an initial consultation.