The number of Invokana lawsuits is increasing every day as more people suffer some of the serious complications of taking this drug for type 2 diabetes. Invokana was the first of a class of new drugs developed to treat this chronic condition, called sodium glucose transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. It was made by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2013.
As a newer medication, the major issues related to Invokana have only just started to come to light and more and more reports of adverse events are raising big questions about its safety. If you have suffered from any of the complications that Invokana is now thought to cause, you may want to join with others who are filing lawsuits against Janssen and Johnson & Johnson.
Invokana and Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which a person has high blood sugar levels. If high blood sugar is not brought under control, the disease can lead to serious and life-threatening complications over time. A person with uncontrolled diabetes will eventually face issues like heart disease, nerve damage, amputations, and possibly even blindness.
With cases of type 2 diabetes at record numbers, companies like Johnson & Johnson have worked hard in recent years to develop medications that could lower blood sugar. Invokana is the first in the class of drugs called SGLT2 inhibitors. These drugs stop the action of a protein that works in the kidneys to send sugar back into the blood. The result is that the medication causes a person to excrete more sugar through urine. Like other drugs for type 2 diabetes, Invokana is supposed to be used along with healthy lifestyle changes.
Side Effects and Complications Lead to Invokana Lawsuits
Invokana is still a relatively new medication, and while it received FDA approval, as more people use it more problems are being uncovered. Some of the more common side effects are not too serious. These include infections and frequent urination. Other problems are more serious and include a life-threatening condition called ketoacidosis, a possible increase in the risk of developing bladder cancer, increased bone fractures, and kidney damage. Patients who suffered from some of these are filing lawsuits and claiming that the drug maker did not do enough to warn them of the risks of using Invokana.
Because Invokana works in the kidneys, it has the potential to cause serious complications there. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices reported on some of these in 2015. The report found that there had been over 450 reports of adverse events serious enough to warrant attention in just the first year Invokana was on the market.
The group found that many of these events were related to the kidney. They included cases of kidney damage and failure, electrolyte imbalances, severe dehydration, urinary tract infections, and kidney stones. Problems with the kidney can lead to problems with the heart too. For example, when electrolytes are out of balance a patient can end up with too much potassium in the blood. This can affect the rhythm of the heart.
SGLT2 inhibitors have been pointed to as a possible cause in several cases of bladder cancer in type 2 diabetes patients. Whether Invokana increases the risk of this type of cancer is not yet certain, but other medications in the class are likely to contribute to the development of bladder cancer in some people. If Invokana is later found to have this same issue, it could be another reason for people to file lawsuits after taking the drug.
The FDA has issued two warnings about Invokana and its possible complications. One of these was over the risk of bone fractures. The label for the drug had already listed bone fractures as a potential complication, but the FDA didn’t feel the warning was strong enough or prominent enough as compared to the level of risk.
New information about how the drug decreases mineral density of bones led to the strengthened warning. In a study with over 700 elderly patients taking Invokana, they were found to have lost significantly more bone density than participants on a placebo. Research into this issue is ongoing, but individuals who suffered broken bones because of Invokana are filing lawsuits to seek compensation.
The second warning the FDA has issued about Invokana is about a dangerous condition in which too much acid builds up in the blood. It is called diabetic ketoacidosis and it occurs when blood sugar levels are too low and the body starts breaking down fat for energy. The products of fat metabolism, called ketones, then build up in the blood making it dangerously acidic.
Ketoacidosis is a very serious condition that can lead to death if not treated. The FDA stated in its warning that they found 20 adverse event reports of ketoacidosis in people taking SGLT2 inhibitors between March 2013 and June 2014. It doesn’t seem like a lot of cases, but each of these individuals had to be hospitalized and all were at risk of dying because of it. It may not be common, but ketoacidosis is deadly serious and is the number one reason that people have started lawsuits over Invokana.
Why File an Invokana Lawsuit
Many people have already filed lawsuits against Janssen and Johnson & Johnson because of the serious complications that Invokana has caused. None of the cases have yet been settled, but it is likely that as more evidence is uncovered that these people will see justice. The main reason for current lawsuits is diabetic ketoacidosis, but other reasons include bone fractures and kidney and heart problems.
If you were harmed by Invokana you may have several reasons to file a lawsuit. Lawyers can help people like you make a case that the drug company failed to warn you of the risks of taking Invokana, that they were negligent in producing and selling this drug, that they manufactured a drug that turned out to be defective, and that they misrepresented the safety of the drug and its potential risks.
Besides seeking justice and punitive damages against a company you believe acted unethically or illegally, you may also want to file a lawsuit for compensation. Getting sick from a drug can be expensive. You can seek compensation for your medical expenses and lost income, but also for the less tangible cost of your pain and suffering. Speak with a lawyer to find out what your options are and how to move forward to make your case against Johnson & Johnson.