Invokana (canagliflozin) was approved in March 2013 by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to lower blood sugar in adults with Type 2 diabetes. Manufactured by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit, Invokana was the first in a new class of diabetes medications called sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors to be approved in the U.S. In August 2014, the FDA approved Invokamet, a combination of conagliflozin and metformin.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and affects at least 90% of the 29 million Americans who suffer from the disease. There is no cure for Type 2 diabetes, but it can be managed with diet, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and if necessary, medications. When not managed effectively, Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious problems, including blindness, nerve damage, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Invokana treats Type 2 diabetes by a completely different mechanism compared to previously-approved medications. Instead of targeting the liver or pancreas, it and other SGLT2 inhibitors block glucose absorption in the kidneys. This allows the body to remove excess glucose via urination.
Invokana is contraindicated in people with severe kidney problems, or who are on dialysis. Serious complications that may be associated with its use include kidney problems, hyperkalemia (excessive potassium in the blood), or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). People taking Invokana may also experience dehydration or yeast infections.
The FDA has launched a review of Invokana, after 20 people using SGLT2 inhibitors were hospitalized or sought emergency treatment for acidosis (reported as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), ketoacidosis, or ketosis). This condition, which is caused by excessive levels of ketones (toxic acid) in the blood, can result in hospitalization, diabetic coma or even death. According to an FDA alert issued in May 2015, the acidosis cases reported to the agency were unusual, in that they occurred in people with Type 2 diabetes. Ketoacidosis is generally associated with Type 1. Most of the patients did not exhibit excessively high blood sugar, which is also unusual. While the FDA completes its review, Invokana patients are advised to seek medical treatment if they experience symptoms associated with ketoacidosis, including difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion, or unusual fatigue or sleepiness.
If you took Invokana for Type 2 diabetes and were hospitalized with diabetic ketoacidosis, please contact the nationwide law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP today. You may be entitled to file an Invokana lawsuit to obtain compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other injury-related damages. To learn more, and to schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation, please call 212-779-1414.