Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, developed Invokana to treat Type 2 diabetes. Invokana is a sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor designed to help control blood sugar levels in adults. The medication works by inhibiting some kidney functions to remove excess sugar from the body through urine.
Invokana was introduced to the market in 2013. Shortly thereafter, patients began experiencing a number of side effects. Among those reported are infections, abnormal weight loss, vomiting, and nausea.
Several adverse health events have also been linked to SGLT2 inhibitors, including Invokana. In some cases these have resulted in hospitalization. Two years after Invokana was put on the market, the Food and Drug Administration took action. In 2015, the FDA issued a warning about serious possible complications for patients using the drug. Among those complications are the following:
- Kidney failure
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Urinary tract infections
- Kidney stones
- Bone fractures
Diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, is an especially dangerous condition linked to Invokana. DKA happens as a result of extremely low insulin production levels. When this occurs, the body starts to break down fat. This produces a buildup of acids that are called ketones. Patients suffering from DKA may have to go to the emergency room or be hospitalized for long periods of time. For some patients, DKA can be life-threatening.
DKA symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Difficulty breathing
Another condition the FDA has warned about are bone fractures. Diabetes medications have long been linked to bone fractures, in addition to decreased bone density. But there is an especially strong connection between bone density and Invokana. The link was significant enough that Janssen was required to update its warning label. However, this was only after numerous patients had already started using the drug.
Several side effects connected to Invokana involve the kidneys, an organ that is vital to everyday life. Among other functions, the kidneys help filter and remove waste from the bloodstream. Kidney damage and failure can result in serious, often life-threatening conditions. Patients may experience confusion, lethargy, weakness, and heart problems. For some patients suffering from kidney problems, the consequences can even include death.
Janssen has faced several lawsuits because of Invokana. Part of the problem stems from the way medications are developed. In an effort to quickly reap profits, drug manufacturers such as Jannsen often rush their medications to the market. This can result in poor or insufficient drug testing, which is never good news for consumers. Consequently, patients begin using a medication that isn’t properly or fully vetted for health risks.
Talk to your doctor immediately if you use Invokana and have experienced any adverse health effects. However, do not stop or change your medication unless you have been instructed to do so by your healthcare provider. Doing so can cause additional or more aggravated health problems. It is important that you also keep a record of any medical issues you experience while using the drug.
A number of patients have sought to hold Janssen liable over allegations that Invokana is dangerous or defective. Some lawsuits have claimed negligence or failure to adequately warn patients about the medication. Drug companies are required to ensure that their products are safe for their intended users. Patients get hurt, even killed, when they shirk this responsibility. Lawsuits seeking to hold Janssen liable may demand compensation for the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Wrongful death
Product liability cases involving medications are extremely complex undertakings. They require time and skill in assembling the evidence needed to win. Cases usually involve expert witnesses, medical records, and testimony about the effects of the medication. Patients who have suffered health problems because of Invokana should seek competent and experienced legal representation.