Diabetes is a serious disease that affects millions of Americans. According to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 100 million people in America were living with diabetes or prediabetes in 2015.
For some people with diabetes, a change in diet and exercise can greatly reduce the effects of diabetes. In some situations, people with type 2 diabetes may need medication to help alleviate symptoms associated with the disease when diet and exercise do not help. While these medications often help, some have been linked to serious side effects and health complications.
In August 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned patients and health care professionals that certain type 2 diabetes medications, including Invokana, were linked to “cases of a rare but serious infection” known as Fournier’s gangrene. Invokana belongs to a newer class of diabetes medications known as sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, which works by stopping glucose from being reabsorbed into the blood.
Other SGLT2 inhibitors include:
|Drug Name||Generic Name||Manufacturer|
|Invokana||Canagliflozin||Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals|
|Invokamet/Invokamet XR||Canagliflozin and Metformin||Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals|
|Farxiga||Dapagliflozin||Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca|
|Xigduo XR||Dapagliflozin and Metformin extended-release||Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca|
|Jardiance||Empagliflozin||Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly|
|Glyxambi||Empagliflozin and Linagliptin||Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly|
|Synjardy||Empagliflozin and Metformin||Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly|
According to the FDA, Fournier’s gangrene is “an extremely rare but life-threatening bacterial infection of the tissue under the skin that surrounds muscles, nerves, fat, and blood vessels of the perineum.” While having diabetes alone puts patients at a greater risk of developing Fourier’s gangrene, the infection has specifically been identified as a safety concern for type 2 diabetes patients who treat their condition with Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitors.
In addition to the increased risk of developing Fourier’s gangrene, type 2 diabetes patients taking Invokana may experience other serious health complications, including:
- Increased risk of lower leg and foot amputations
- Ketoacidosis, which can lead to death
- Kidney problems
- Serious urinary tract infections
- Low blood sugar
- Serious allergic reaction
- Broken bones
The most common side effects that have been associated with the use of Invokana include vaginal yeast infection, yeast infection of the penis and frequent urination.
While lawsuits have not been filed on behalf of patients who developed Fourier’s gangrene, a large number of lawsuits allege other complications linked to Invokana, including leg amputation and kidney failure. According to plaintiffs in those cases, the drug’s manufacturer failed to warn of known side effects despite knowledge of such serious issues.
A personal injury lawyer can help in a variety of ways. You may be eligible to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Family members of those who have died as a result of Invokana-related injuries may also be eligible to recover compensation for damages, including funeral expenses and the pain of losing a loved one.
Our law firm can offer you a free, confidential consultation. If we determine that you have a legal claim, you can choose our firm to help you pursue that claim in court on your behalf.
Be aware: the law places a time limit on your ability to file a claim.