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Invokana Treatment Linked to Kidney Failure, Heart Attack, and Death

Invokana is the first in a new class of drugs used to control type 2 diabetes in adults, known as SGLT2 inhibitors. In combination with exercise and a healthy diet, Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitors are supposed to be a safe and effective way to lower blood sugar and prevent other diabetes-related conditions, such as blindness, heart disease, and stroke. Unfortunately, since Invokana arrived on the market in 2013, reports of serious health problems linked to the drug have been growing in number. Lawsuits against Invokana’s manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, claim that the drug increases the risk of kidney failure, heart attacks, and a blood acid condition called ketoacidosis. Contact a Boston Drug Injury Lawyer Today.

Failure to Warn

If Johnson & Johnson had provided adequate warning of the risks associated with Invokana, physicians could have made more informed decisions regarding their patients’ treatment. They could have taken precautionary measures such as prescribing another medication or closely monitoring patients on Invokana. However, Bayer did not properly warn patients or the medical community, and this failure to warn has resulted in an onslaught of potentially life-threatening injuries.

How Does Invokana Work?

Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitors work by reducing the amount of sugar absorbed into the patient’s blood and excreting excess sugar through the urine. In the United States today, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death. In fact, approximately 35% of the American population has prediabetes. Since Invokana is more effective at reducing blood sugar than its predecessors, the drug gained quickly in popularity. Unfortunately, this rapid growth has been accompanied by significant problems.

Other SGLT2 inhibitors include:

  • Invokamet
  • Farxiga
  • Xigduo XR
  • Jardiance
  • Glyxambi
Side-effects Associated with Invokana-Use

Along with Invokana, these other SGLT2 inhibitors are linked to an increased risk of several serious, and potentially life-threatening side effects. These include:

  • Heart attack – Caused by a restriction of blood to the heart, if left untreated the patient may die.

  • Kidney failure – Kidneys assist in filtering waste products from the blood, and help control blood pressure. Kidney failure requires the use of dialysis or a kidney transplant. Without the necessary treatment, kidney failure may be fatal.

  • Ketoacidosis – This condition occurs when the body is unable to produce adequate levels of insulin, resulting in the break-down of fats as an alternative energy source. This, in turn, causes toxic acids called ketones to buildup in the blood. If excess ketones are left untreated, they will eventually cause ketoacidosis. This condition can lead to diabetic coma, hospitalization, and death.

Before taking Invokana or any other SGLT2 inhibitor, tell your health care provider if you have any of the following medical problems:

  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • High or low blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • An electrolyte imbalance

Furthermore, if you are on a salt-restricted diet or are currently taking other medications for diabetes, inform your physician before beginning Invokana-treatment. If you are currently taking Invokana, or any other SGLT2 inhibitor, seek medical attention immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Hyperventilation
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in urine
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Premier Drug Injury Law Firm

Despite the growing number of medical conditions linked to Invokana-use, the drug remains on the market. If you have been injured after taking Invokana or any other SGLT2 inhibitor, the skilled drug injury team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. The FDA has recently issued two announcements warning consumers and physicians of the risks associated with Invokana. The warnings state that patients should immediately stop taking the drug and seek medical attention if they develop symptoms of ketoacidosis.

Although these warnings will help, they are simply not enough. All pharmaceutical companies, Johnson & Johnson included, have a responsibility to properly warn patients and physicians about risks associated with their medications. In this case, adequate warning wasn’t provided, and Johnson & Johnson should be held accountable for its negligence. If you have been injured, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free consultation about your case.

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