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August 7, 2020

Study Finds Invokana Triples Risk of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

New research seems to confirm the numerous toxicity warnings about Invokana, the popular type 2 diabetes drug. A study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine found the side effects of Invokana and similar diabetes drugs may triple users’ risk of a potentially deadly condition called diabetic ketoacidosis.

Last month, researchers funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research uncovered a link between diabetic ketoacidosis risk and a class of diabetes drugs known as sodium-glucose contrasporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors. SGLT-2 inhibitors block the kidneys from reabsorbing glucose, helping users control blood sugar levels. Some of the blockbuster drugs included in this controversial drug class include Invokana, Farxiga, and Jardiance

Typically doctors prescribe SGLT-2 inhibitors to type 2 diabetes patients to help them manage their blood sugar levels. Some doctors even prescribe SGLT-2 inhibitors to treat heart disease in patients and lower their risk of heart attacks and strokes.

However, according to the study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers saw a direct correlation between SGLT-2 inhibitors and an increased risk for diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) happens when ketones, blood acids, build up in the body and cause severe health conditions.

Some of the observed side effects of DKA include vomiting, difficulty breathing, and confusion, which can result in the need for hospitalization and medical treatment. According to the Canadian study, researchers saw type 2 diabetes patients’ risk of developing DKA nearly tripled from taking SGLT-2 inhibitors.

“SGLT-2 inhibitors were associated with an almost 3-fold increased risk for DKA, with molecule-specific analyses suggesting a class effect,” the researchers of the Canadian study concluded.

In the study, researchers studied the data of 208,757 new users of SGLT-2 inhibitors and compared it to the same number of users who used a class of drugs called DPP-4 inhibitors. Compared to DPP-4 users, SGLT-2 inhibitor users faced a nearly triple risk of developing DKA than those taking DPP-4 medications.

Specifically, Invokana had the highest risks associated with it. In comparison to other type 2 diabetes drugs, Invokana increased users’ risk of developing DKA by over three and a half times. 

Invokana Lawsuits

This study comes in the midst of a massive litigation against manufacturers and distributors of Invokana and similar SGLT-2 inhibitor drugs. Across the United States, hundreds of product liability lawsuits indicate that Invokana (canagliflozin) and other type 2 diabetes drugs were unreasonably dangerous and caused users to develop severe injuries.

According to Invokana lawsuits, Invokana has caused individuals to develop severe kidney injuries, bone fractures, Fournier’s gangrene, and even need to have lower limbs amputated. Individuals filing Invokana lawsuits claim manufactures failed to warn health professionals and the public about the severe side effects of using SGLT-2 inhibitors and removed their right to choose a, perhaps, safer prescription.

Since its release on the market in 2013, the FDA has steadily needed to issue new warnings about the health risks of Invokana.  In 2016 the FDA required for Invokana manufactures to include additional warnings about the link between the medication and kidney injuries like kidney damage and failure. The following May, the FDA issued a warning that Invokana increased users’ risk of needing leg and foot amputations due to blood clots and infections.

Most recently, in 2018 the FDA released a drug safety communication that Invokana increased users’ risk of developing Fournier’s gangrene, a potentially deadly flesh-eating disease. Now, Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Invokana manufactures, are working to resolve the hundreds of Invokana lawsuits from across the nation.

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