Invokana is a medication prescribed to help lower blood sugar in adults with Type-2 diabetes. It belongs to a class of drugs called sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, which work to lower blood sugar by causing the kidneys to remove sugar from the body through urine. Invokana is generally prescribed along with a diet and exercise regimen, and may or may not be prescribed along with other medicines. Lowering blood sugar is important in reducing the risk of kidney damage, blindness, loss of sexual functionality, and heart attacks and stroke. Some common side effects from use of Invokana are dehydration, kidney problems, urinary tract infections, male genital mycotic infections, and female genital mycotic infections, which include vulvovaginitis, vulvovaginal mycotic infection, vulvovaginal candidiasis, vaginal infection, and vulvitis.
Use of Invokana linked to serious condition requiring hospitalization
In May 2015, the FDA released a warning that use of Invokana can lead to a serious condition called ketoacidosis, a serious condition in which a person’s body produces a high level of blood acids called ketones. At least 20 patients taking Invokana or similar SGLT2 inhibitors between 2013 and 2014 experienced this condition, and all of the patients required emergency room visits and/or hospitalizations.
If a person taking Invokana develops ketoacidosis, he or she may suffer a variety of symptoms including difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, confusion, abdominal pain, and unusual fatigue and sleepiness. A person experiencing such symptoms may require hospitalization and should seek medical attention immediately. If not treated, the condition can lead to loss of consciousness, and in extreme cases can cause death. A person taking Invokana experiencing such symptoms should not stop taking the medication without discussing with his or her prescriber first, although the FDA encourages physicians who detect the presence of ketoacidosis in patients to discontinue use of Invokana.
FDA investigation of Invokana is ongoing
The FDA is continuing to investigate the effects of Invokana and determine what further steps might be taken with regard to this safety issue, including the possibility of requiring further prescribing information. Physicians and patients are encouraged to provide information to the FDA as the FDA continues its investigation of Invokana and similar medications.
Invokana was developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a division of Johnson & Johnson. The FDA has kept a close eye on the effects of Invokana, not limited to the issues of ketoacidosis. In initial trials, thirteen patients taking Invokana experienced a major cardiovascular event within the first 30 days of taking the medication, compared with only one patient taking a placebo who experienced such an event. Despite these adverse health effects, Johnson & Johnson continues to manufacture Invokana, with sales projected to be around $650 million a year.
Talk to an Attorney about your Invokana Concerns
If you are taking Invokana, you should be aware of the symptoms of ketoacidosis (difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, confusion, abdominal pain, and unusual fatigue and sleepiness), and if you experience such symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. If you or someone in your family has taken Invokana and has experienced symptoms of ketoacidosis or other adverse health effects from the use of Invokana, please contact the law office of Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. in New York City for a confidential consultation with a skilled and knowledgeable attorney in the field of personal injury and pharmaceutical products liability.