The Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings about SGLT2 inhibitors like Invokana concerning an increased risk Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), Kidney Injury, and of amputation of leg, foot, or toes.  Other studies have raised concerns about cardiovascular injuries, such as heart attack or stroke.  If you or a loved one have been harmed after taking Invokana, you may be eligible to file an Invokana lawsuit.

Invokana Lawsuit

invokana

The popular diabetes medication, Invokana (canagliflozin) has been linked to an increased risk of several severe side effects that may result in medical injury.  Patients taking Invokana have experienced serious adverse events including cardiovascular injuries such as heart attack and stroke, kidney failure and chronic kidney disease, and an increase in the risk of leg or foot amputation when taking Invokana.

Some of these injuries have resulted in a need for hospitalization and may have been life-threatening or resulted in permanent disability.  Multiple Invokana lawsuits have been filed against Invokana’s manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and the parent company, Johnson & Johnson.  These lawsuits have claimed that the drug company failed to warn patients and medical professionals about the dangers of the drug.

If you or a loved one have suffered from heart attack or stroke, been hospitalized with diabetic ketoacidosis or kidney failure or required leg or foot amputation after taking Invokana, you may be eligible for financial compensation.

About Invokana

Invokana is the brand name of canagliflozin, a newer type of medication used for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes that works differently than other antidiabetic medications.

Insulin is required by the body to move glucose from the blood into the cells so that it may be used as energy.  Type 2 diabetes may be resistant to insulin, causing blood sugar levels to remain high.  high blood sugar levels may damage body tissues including the kidneys and vascular system.  Because glucose cannot be used as energy, the body is forced to break down fat stores, causing a buildup of an acidic substance known as ketones. This may lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening event.  Over time, high blood sugar levels may also increase the risk of amputation.

Invokana is an “SGLT2 inhibitor” (sodium-glucose-co-transporter 2) which works to decrease blood glucose levels by encouraging the kidneys to release more sugar into the urine.  The release of excess sugar into the urinary tract may also cause blood potassium levels to rise.

Though many patients have been helped by Invokana, the drug’s actions may have increased the risk of severe side effects.   Several studies have warned about safety concerns including increased chance of cardiovascular injury like heart attack and stroke, acute kidney injury, kidney failure or chronic renal disease, and a higher rate of leg and foot amputation.  The FDA has also issued multiple safety warnings regarding these same serious adverse events caused by Invokana.

Invokana manufacturer, Janssen and the parent company, Johnson & Johnson are already facing several lawsuits filed by patients or family members of those who have been harmed by Invokana.  If you or a family member have suffered a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular injury, have been hospitalized for diabetic ketoacidosis, kidney injury or chronic kidney disease, or have required leg, foot or toe amputation, you may be eligible for compensation through an Invokana lawsuit.

SGLT2 Inhibitors

The SGLT2 inhibitor type of antidiabetics have been under investigation for the increased risk of ketoacidosis, serious UTI, kidney failure and heart attack or myocardial infarction.

The SGLT2 inhibitor class includes a number of medications and combinations:

Risks of Invokana

Invokana may cause a number of side effects including some that are severe and potentially life-threatening.

Leg or foot amputation may be required when the vascular system is no longer able to transport blood distant areas.  The lack of oxygen and nutrients and long-term damage caused by high blood sugar levels can result in cellular death. Over time, this dead tissue in the extremities, particularly the feet and legs may become infected in a condition known as “gangrene”.  In order to avoid the spread of gangrene, the affected area must be removed through amputation.  Invokana may increase the risk of leg, foot or toe amputation.

Kidney Injury – Under normal conditions, the kidneys work to remove waste products from the blood, which are then released into the urine.  The kidneys also help to maintain glucose, fluid and electrolyte balance and regulate blood pressure.

Acute kidney failure occurs when the kidneys stop functioning suddenly due to a medical event like diabetic ketoacidosis, urinary tract infection or drug side effects

Chronic renal failure or chronic kidney disease occurs when long-term damage to the kidney occurs and over time, the kidneys stop functioning.  CRF/CKD may result in a need for dialysis.

Severe urinary tract infection occurs because of the high amounts of sugar released into the urine.  A severe UTI may result in loss of kidney function.

Ketoacidosis may occur when the body cannot use glucose as a fuel for cellular functions.  This triggers the breakdown of fat, which can result in the accumulation of an acidic byproduct known as ketones.  The acidic conditions of the blood may also cause a buildup of potassium and increases the chance of

Cardiovascular Injury – Oxygen is normally supplied by the blood circulation but when the supply of oxygen is restricted to vital areas, severe injury may occur.

Heart attack or myocardial infarction is the result of the oxygen supply to the heart muscle, suddenly being cut off causing death of starved heart muscle cells.

Stroke or cerebral infarction is the result of the oxygen supply to the brain, suddenly being cut off causing death of starved brain cells.

Amputation of extremities such as leg, foot or toes may be required when tissue in these areas dies.  The cardiovascular system becomes unable to supply adequate oxygen and nutrients to areas that are far away from the heart.  Once cellular death begins to occur, severe infection (gangrene) may develop if the affected area is not removed through amputation.

Patients who are taking Invokana or other SGLT2 inhibitor medications should be advised to seek medical attention when symptoms of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, ketoacidosis or gangrene develop.  These symptoms may include:

  • chest pain
  • nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain
  • increased heart rate
  • dizziness or fainting
  • confusion
  • sudden head pain
  • inability to move on one or both sides
  • sudden difficulty speaking
  • difficulty breathing or hyperventilation
  • extreme fatigue
  • muscle weakness
  • increased urination and thirst
  • urinary or flank pain
  • infection in toes, feet or skin
  • blackened areas of extremities
  • loss of feeling in toes, feet or skin

If symptoms of heart attack, stroke, infection (gangrene), ketoacidosis, or kidney failure develop, patients taking Invokana should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Certain medical conditions may increase the risk of serious Invokana side effects.  Patients should notify their health care practitioner if they know they have:

  • High or low blood pressure
  • High potassium levels or other electrolyte imbalances
  • Heart disease
  • Decreased kidney function or kidney failure
  • Decreased liver function or liver failure
  • Low salt diet
  • Other medication use

Women who are or who intend to become pregnant and those who are breast feeding should talk to their doctor about the risks of Invokana before taking the medication.

Invokana Lawsuit

Patients and family member of those who have been injured by Invokana have filed lawsuits against the manufacturer, Janssen and Johnson & Johnson.  Invokana lawsuits claim that Janssen / Johnson & Johnson knew about serious side effects including heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, diabetic ketoacidosis and the increased risk of a need for amputation but continued to market the medication without adequate warning to the public or medical community.  If increased risks had been acknowledged, patients may have avoided injury by discontinuing the medication and reporting symptoms immediately.

Patients who have been injured after taking Invokana may be eligible for compensation for medical treatment costs, future treatment costs, lost wages and pain and suffering.  In addition, if the company can be shown to have known about the risks but failed to warn the medical community or public, they may be liable for punitive damages.

When multiple, similar lawsuits are filed against one particular company, those lawsuits may be consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the same court.  This allows plaintiffs to pool information but does not mean all victims must accept any particular settlement offer.  One or two cases, known as bellwether trials will be tried first.  These trials may help determine if a settlement is likely and in some cases, settlements are offered before the trial is concluded.  MDL is different from class action lawsuit.  Invokana medical injury lawsuits may be consolidated into MDL, but no MDL has been announced yet.  Previous MDL lawsuits regarding injury caused by antidiabetic medications have resulted in settlements of hundreds of thousands of dollars but no Invokana settlements have been reached.

Since the FDA’s warnings were announced, more patients in both the U.S. and Canada, have filed Invokana lawsuits and though many of the cases may be similar, there are no guarantees.  Each medical injury case is different and must be considered separately.

Patients who have experienced cardiovascular injuries such as heart attack or stroke, kidney injuries ketoacidosis, or required amputation after taking Ivokana, may be eligible for compensation and should seek legal assistance.

View Sources
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