**Blog shared with us by attorney Stuart Scott at Spangenberg Law Firm**
Invokana Lawsuit: Investigation of Kidney Failure, Ketoacidosis and Other Injuries Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Medicines Invokana and Invokamet
The attorneys at the Spangenberg Law Firm are investigating the link between several type 2 diabetes medicines and serious injuries – including kidney failure and ketoacidosis – suffered by patients after taking them, including:
- Invokana (canagliflozin)
- Invokamet (canagliflozin/metformin)
- Jardiance (empagliflozin)
- Xigduo XR (dapagliflozin/metformin)
- Farxiga (dapagliflozin)
- Glyxambi (empagliflozin/linagliptin)
The FDA has warned in a drug safety announcement that these drugs may cause a serious health condition known as ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis (also known as acidosis or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) – causes the body to produce excessive levels of blood acids and may cause diabetic comas or death. In addition to causing an increased risk of ketoacidosis, Invokana, Invokamet, and SGLT2 inhibitors have been linked to incidents of other side effects including kidney damage and ketoacidosis.
The FDA, in its announcement, warned patients that they should seek immediate medical attention if they experience any symptoms of kidney failure, or ketoacidosis, including:
- Difficulty breathing
- Abdominal pain
- Unusual fatigue or sleepiness
These drugs belong to a class of medications known as sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, which have been FDA approved to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes.
The problem with Invokana, Invokamet, and other SGLT2 Inhibitors
Most type 2 diabetes drugs either battle insulin resistance or inhibit the production of glucagon. They metabolize or keep blood sugars low so that your body can metabolize them. Invokana and Invokamet, by contrast, are specifically designed to excrete the blood sugars by blocking the reabsorption of glucose in the kidneys. They keep your body from metabolizing sugar, which is an important energy source. Invokana and Invokamet allow high blood sugar entry to the kidneys, blocking the reabsorption process so that the blood sugar – instead of being metabolized – is excreted, not with low glucose, but instead, with high levels of urine sugars. And our kidneys are not designed to handle that high load of blood sugars.
When our bodies produce enough insulin to function and metabolize sugar, they do not have ketones. Insulin metabolizes sugar so that it enters your cells as an energy source. But when the insulin metabolism process fails, the body takes fat as an alternate fuel source and then produces toxic ketones as a by-product.
The combination of promoting glucagon secretion while at the same time decreasing urinary excretion of ketones means that your body has extra glucose, but no ability to metabolize it or excrete the ketones that result. This situation can lead to kidney failure, ketoacidosis, and cardiovascular events. And if this condition is not treated property, diabetic ketoacidosis can occur.
Failure to Warn Results in Severe Injuries
Manufacturers and those who marketed SGLT2 inhibitors such as Invokana and Invomet failed to warn patients and physicians of the increased risks of kidney failure and ketoacidosis. If these parties had provided proper warning of the risks, patients would have been able to take an alternate medication for their diabetes and have had their health monitored on a more frequent basis for signs of renal impairment, and high level of ketones. Those who manufactured and marketed these drugs include Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., AstraZeneca and Boehringer Ingelheim.
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with ketoacidosis of kidney damage after being treated with Invokana, Invokamet, or another SGLT2 inhibitor, you may be able to seek compensation.