Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its parent company Johnson & Johnson are facing a product liability lawsuit that alleges the type 2 diabetes medication is responsible for an Ohio’s man kidney failure.
Combined with a proper diet and exercise program, Invokana (canaglifozin) is prescribed to help control high blood sugar in people who have type 2 diabetes.
Health Risks for People with Type 2 Diabetes
Some 27 million people in the U.S. have type 2 diabetes. If blood sugar is not properly controlled, type 2 diabetes can cause long-term health problems. The individual can suffer serious adverse health effects including cardiovascular problems, kidney damage and kidney failure, blindness, nerve problems, and loss of limbs. The Mayo Clinic says type 2 diabetes may increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease, though the exact connection between the two conditions “remains unclear.” Hearing problems are more common in people with diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The Ohio man alleges that Janssen and Johnson & Johnson concealed their knowledge of the Invokana’s adverse health effects and the risks involved for those who take the drug. The lawsuit alleges after he began taking he “suffered and may continue to suffer severe and permanent personal injuries, including acute renal failure.”
In the lawsuit, the plaintiff says that if Janssen and J&J had properly disclosed the Invokana risks, he would have never used the medication, the lawsuit maintains. The lawsuit alleges that he “has endured pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and economic loss, including significant expenses for medical care and treatment which will continue in the future.” He seeks punitive and compensatory damages and monetary restitution.
National law firm Parker Waichman LLP has represented individuals in scores of drug-injury cases, including those involving serious side effects of diabetes drugs. The firm can answer questions about a possible Invokana side effects lawsuit.
Invokana (canagliflozin) received approval in 2014 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Invokana was the first drug in a new class of type 2 diabetes medications, SGLT2 inhibitors (sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors).
SGLT2 inhibitor drugs help control blood glucose levels by ridding the body of excess sugar through urination. The SGLT2 inhibitor class also includes Farxiga (dapagliflozin), Jardiance (empagliflozin), and SGLT2 inhibitors in combination medications such as Invokamet (canagliflozin and metformin).
However, as the Ohio man’s kidney failure lawsuit alleges, excess glucose is “excreted through the kidneys of a population of consumers already at risk for kidney disease.”
In addition to the kidney risks, Invokana has reportedly been linked to a number of other serious side effects, including heart attacks, bone fractures, and diabetic ketoacidosis. SGLT2 inhibitors have been linked to increased risk for urinary tract infections (UTIs), which can progress into severe kidney and blood infections.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious, possibly life-threatening, condition in which toxic acid builds up in the bloodstream. Without prompt and appropriate treatment, diabetic ketoacidosis can prove fatal. Ketoacidosis is caused by excess ketones, acidic compounds that are produced when fat is metabolized. When cells cannot get enough glucose to meet their energy needs, they start using fat for energy instead. Cells that are starved for glucose produce an abundance of ketones.
Diabetic ketoacidosis can cause:
- cerebral edema (swelling of the brain)
- acute kidney failure
- respiratory distress
- heart attack
The results from two clinical trials – the CANVAS (Canagliflozin Cardiovascular Assessment Study) and CANVAS-R (A Study of the Effects of Canagliflozin on Renal Endpoints in Adult Participants With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus) – showed that leg and foot amputations occurred about twice as often in patients taking Invokana compared to patients treated with a placebo. Amputations of the toe and middle of the foot were the most common, but amputations involving the leg, below and above the knee, also occurred, according to the FDA. Some patients had more than one amputation, some involving both limbs.
The FDA first warned of the amputation risk in May 2016 and updated the warning in a May 2017 safety alert. Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has also issued updated advisory warning Invokana users of increased risk of lower limb amputation.
Before prescribing Invokana, health care professionals should consider factors that may predispose a patient to the risk for serious side effects like amputations and kidney failure.
Help for Invokana Users Who Have Suffered Invokana Side Effects
If you or someone you know who takes Invokana has suffered kidney damage, kidney failure or other Invokana side effects, Parker Waichman LLP can provide a free, no-obligation evaluation of your legal options. To consult one of our experienced attorneys, fill out the online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).