Diabetes Drug Invokana Linked to Amputations

Living with Type 2 diabetes can be a challenge, and many people struggle to find the right balance of medication, dietary changes and insulin supplementation. Prescription drugs are a good fit for some patients, and can make a world of difference in their quality of life. In some cases, however, prescription drugs can have devastating side effects, and can actually decrease the quality of life for patients who were in search of relief. Individuals who have used the SGLT2 drug Invokana to manage their disease should know that there is some important research linking Invokana and amputations.

How is Invokana Used?

Invokana was released by the pharmaceutical company Janssen Pharmaceuticals in March of 2013, after the FDA approved the drug for use in patients with Type 2 diabetes. The medication was a once-a-day option that could help patients reduce their systolic blood pressure and achieve greater glycemic control. Invokana was also shown to block glucose from being reabsorbed by the kidneys, helping the body eliminate extra glucose through urination. A welcome side effect was the ability to shed some weight while on Invokana. The drug showed real promise, and with a potential market of nearly 26 million diabetes patients in the United States, the company stood to make enormous profits from Invokana.

Patients Complain of Side Effects

Soon after Invokana hit the market, backed by an extensive marketing campaign, patients began complaining of side effects from the drug. Some experienced urinary tract infections or yeast infections. An elevated risk of heart attack and stroke was noted in patients taking the drug. It soon became clear that Invokana was linked to an increased risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening condition that can lead to hospitalization and even potential death. Eventually, two significant clinical trials suggested that Invokana could increase a patient’s risk of future amputations. In fact, researchers discovered that patients taking Invokana were experiencing double the rate of amputation of the legs and feet as compared to patients who were given a placebo.

The FDA Takes Action

In the wake of this distressing information resulting from two separate research efforts, the United States Food & Drug Administration notified Janssen Pharmaceuticals (through parent company Johnson & Johnson) that it was required to place new warning labels on all forms of the drug. The new “black box” label is used only on those products that pose the greatest risk to consumers and patients. It specifically warns patients that taking the drug can lead to an elevated risk of amputations of a foot or leg.

Still in Use by Many Patients

Many patients across the nation continue to use the drug Invokana to help manage their diabetes, even in light of the new warnings from the FDA. The reality of the situation is that Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition that can have a huge negative impact on the life of an individual. For some people, the risk of side effects is something that they are willing to accept for a treatment that improves their quality of life. As of the time of this report, Invokana remains on the market, and marketing efforts continue to tout the benefits of the drug, with a warning to discuss the matter in depth with one’s physician.

Contact an Experienced Invokana Injury Lawyer

My name is Brian Ricci and I am a North Carolina Invokana Injury Lawyer. Anyone who has been injured by Invokana should contact me at (252) 777-2222 for free, friendly advice. I have a toll-free number at (800) 387-6406.

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