A number of Invokana users are considering legal action against Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturers of the popular diabetes medication.
Claim already filed allege the companies were aware of the risks associated with the drug and failed to warn doctors and patients. Investigations are underway to determine whether there is a link between Invokana use, and medical emergencies such as heart attack and other cardiovascular events, kidney failure, and ketoacidosis. If it can be proven the companies were aware of a risk and did not provide proper warning, plaintiffs could be eligible for compensation.
What is Invokana?
Invokana is a SGLT2 inhibitor intended to treat type 2 diabetes. Many patients receive a multi-medication dosage of Invokana and Metformim (brand name Invokamet). Both versions of the drug are recommended to be used in conjunction with exercise and dietary changes.
Many view Invokana and other type 2 diabetes medications as miracle drugs. Left untreated, type 2 diabetes (sometimes called adult onset diabetes, though children and teens can develop the disease) can lead to serious health problems, including kidney failure, loss of sight, nerve damage, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and numerous other problems. The disease is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, so access to a medication that has the potential to keep diabetes under control should be positive.
Unfortunately, Invokana potentially puts users at risk for three specific serious side effects, including:
Invokana and Kidney Failure
Kidneys filter waste products from the blood and are also involved in regulating blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and red blood cell production in the body. When kidney failure occurs, it causes a build-up of waste products in the body that leads to weakness, shortness of breath, lethargy, and confusion. If potassium builds up in the bloodstream it can cause abnormal heart rhythms and sudden death. Initially kidney failure may cause no symptoms.
Invokana and Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)
Myocardial infarction, usually called a heart attack, occurs when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle causing the heart muscle to die. Heart attacks can be treatable, but if not reached early it can be fatal. Patients often require several days of hospitalization following a heart attack and will likely need to make numerous lifestyle changes to protect from future events.
Invokana and Ketoacidosis
Ketoacidosis occurs when ketosis, the accumulation of substances called ketones in the blood, causes acidosis, which is increased acidity of the blood. Symptoms include slow, deep breathing with a fruity odor to the breath, confusion, frequent urination, poor appetite, and eventually loss of consciousness.
Ketoacidosis requires urgent treatment, which is usually performed in a hospital and might include the administration of intravenous fluids, insulin, and glucose, and long-term changes in a patient’s person’s diet.
What Should Be Done to Protect Against Invokana Complications?
To date, there has been no recall of Invokana. As a matter of fact, Janssen and Johnson & Johnson stand behind their product as safe and effective, claiming research shows there is no higher risk for ketoacidosis than when patients are not using the drug. The FDA has issued a safety announcement encouraging doctors to pay close attention to patients and monitor them for signs of ketoacidosis when using Invokana.
Filing an Invokana Lawsuit
Some users have taken legal action against Invokana’s manufacturers, but the lawsuits are in their early stages of information gathering. Attorneys are finding a significant amount of data that could be useful in future lawsuits. At the moment, Invokana lawsuits are not proceeding as any type of class action, but there is the likelihood a judge could combine lawsuits into multi-district litigation to enhance the efficiency of the process.
Users of Invokana are encouraged to take action and contact an attorney as soon as possible concerning their health issues with the medication. Each state has different time limits concerning personal injury claims, so the sooner Invokana users seek legal assistance the better.
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