Invokana Heart Attack Lawsuit

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Invokana Heart Attack Lawsuit

Invokana (canagliflozin) is an antidiabetic medication used to treat Type 2 diabetes that has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack and other life-threatening side effects.  Patients or their loved ones who have been harmed by Invokana may be eligible for compensation through an Invokana heart attack lawsuit.

Invokana Heart Attack Concern

The Type 2 diabetes medication, Invokana (canagliflozin), has been shown to increase the chance of heart attack by as much as 7 times in the first 30 days of taking the medication.  Invokana has also been linked to other serious side effects including diabetic ketoacidosis, severe urinary tract infection, kidney failure, stroke and limb amputation.  These severe side effects may require extensive medical treatment, hospitalization, dialysis, or surgery and may lead to permanent injury or even death.

Even before Invokana’s 2013 approval, safety of the medication, particularly related to cardiovascular risk, had been raised by consumer groups and members of the FDA’s advisory committee which evaluated the medication.  Despite those objections, it was approved in a 10/15 decision but the manufacturer was ordered to complete additional safety studies regarding cardiovascular events like heart attack.

Interim analysis of the CANVAS safety study showed a 46% increase in risk of stoke but the heart attack analysis was much more concerning.  Trial data has shown that Invokana does indeed increase heart attack risk, particularly within the first 30 days of use.  Patients beginning the medication have a staggering, 7 times greater risk of cardiovascular events and it have been responsible for several heart attack-related deaths.

In addition to heart attack, since the 2013 approval, Invokana has been associated with multiple serious medical events including diabetic ketoacidosis, severe urinary tract infection, kidney failure, limb amputation and stroke.  The manufacturer has been required to place additional warnings on prescribing information and is facing hundreds or thousands of lawsuits for medical injury, including multiple deaths.  Many lawsuits may also be filed due to Invokana-related heart attack.

About Invokana

Invokana is the brand name for canagliflozin.  It is an antidiabetic medication of the SGLT2 class, a newer group of medications used to treat Type 2 diabetes.  SGLT2 inhibitors work differently than other antidiabetic medications.  Other members of this group include Farxiga (dapagliflozin), and Jardiance (empagliflozin).

Invokana is manufactured by Janssen, a subsidiary of the pharmaceutical and medical products giant, Johnson & Johnson which has an estimated annual revenue of $74 billion.  This is not the first time that Johnson & Johnson has faced lawsuits over medication they manufacture.

Canagliflozin is also available in combination with another diabetes medication, metformin, under the brand name, Invokamet.  The combination medication the risk of the same severe side effects and risks.  Invokana was intended to treat diabetics who had not responded to other antidiabetic medications but instead has caused serious harm to many of these patients.  Hundreds of lawsuits have already been filed against the manufacturer due to serious side effects including multiple deaths.  Many more Invokana heart attack lawsuits may be pursued because of injury caused by the medication.

Invokana and Type 2 diabetes

In normal individuals, insulin is needed to transport glucose from the bloodstream into the cells where it can be used as energy.  Glucose remaining in the blood will be conserved by the kidneys to be used later.  Type 2 diabetics may have become desensitized to insulin or may not have enough to carry the sugar into cells, and glucose will remain in the bloodstream as “high blood glucose” levels.

Most medications used to treat Type 2 diabetes work to increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin, to increase insulin production or to block sugar from being absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract.  Invokana and other SGLT2 class members work differently by preventing the kidneys from conserving sugar so that it is lost through the urine. This can result in too much sugar in the urine and may drop blood glucose levels too rapidly.  It may also result in the loss of too much water which will cause blood cells to become too concentrated, increasing the risk of clot formation and the threat of heart attack.

Invokana and Heart Attack

Invokana has been shown to increase the heart attack risk by as much as 7 times, during the first 30 days of treatment.

Heart attack, is also called myocardial infarction and is caused by a sudden blockage of the blood vessels which supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscles.  This blockage is often caused by clots that have developed in the bloodstream.  Heart muscle cells that are starved of oxygen will begin to die and in severe cases, the heart will be unable to contract and death may occur.

Heart attack may cause symptoms such as:

  • Chest pain

  • Arm or shoulder pain

  • Upper abdominal pain

  • Feeling of pressure on chest

  • Lightheadedness or dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Cold, clammy skin

  • Need to defecate

  • Increased or irregular heart beat

A heart attack is a life threatening condition and anyone who has symptoms of a heart attack should seek emergency medical attention.

Invokana and Other Side Effects

In addition to heart attack, Invokana has also been linked to severe side effects including:

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis – an acidic condition which may result in kidney failure, dialysis or death
  • Kidney failure – caused by DKA or severe urinary tract infection which will require hospitalization and may be permanent or deadly
  • High potassium levels – excessively high potassium levels can increase the risk of cardiovascular event like heart attack
  • Stroke – cause by blood clot formation which blocks supply to the brain
  • Limb amputation – caused by blockage of blood vessels supplying tissue of hands, feet and legs which will require hospitalization and surgery
  • Severe urinary tract infection – excessive sugar in the urine may lead to bacterial or fungal growth which becomes severe and may lead to kidney failure

Patients who experience symptoms of these side effects should seek emergency treatment.

Less severe side effects may include:

  • Yeast infection of the genitals with itching, burning, rash, redness, or discharge
  • Urinary tract infection with painful urination, urinary frequency, pubic or flank pain
  • Photosensitivity (sun intolerance) with severe redness, sunburn or rash shortly after minimal sun exposure
  • Itching and rash on skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Increased Low-density cholesterol levels (LDL)

Invokana is listed as a Pregnancy Category C medication and should not be taken by women who are pregnant or nursing due to possibility of birth defect or infant injury.

Currently, over 450,000 Invokana prescriptions are filled every three months in the U.S.

Invokana heart attack lawsuits

Heart attack or other severe side effects caused by Invokana may require hospitalization, surgery, extensive medical treatments and may result in permanent injury or even death.  Patients or family members of those who have been harmed after taking Invokana have filed lawsuits against the manufacturer for manufacturing a dangerous or defective drug, failure to warn the public and medical community about potential risks, and continuing to market a medication known to pose severe threat.

Though there are no guarantees for an Invokana heart attack lawsuit, past litigants of medical injury lawsuits have received financial compensation for medical costs, lost wages, future medical care, pain and suffering, and wrongful death.  Each case is unique and must be evaluated separately by a legal expert.

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