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Invokana Side Effects


Invokana (canagliflozin) is a drug marketed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals used for regulating blood sugar in Type II diabetes patients that has been found to cause serious side effects. In 2015, the first FDA warning on the drug was released; in its wake, physicians and researchers question whether the benefits outweigh the risk of Invokana side effects. This page contains information on Invokana side effects and risks including ketoacidosis, blood acid problems, kidney problems, cardiovascular problems, and wrongful death, as well as information on Invokana side effects lawsuits.

What is Invokana?

Invokana (canagliflozin) is a sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitor that is widely prescribed to persons with Type II diabetes in order to increase glycemic control. The drug was approved by the FDA in March of 2013; it was the first in the gliflozin class to be approved in the United States. The drug was approved because data from clinical tests showed it was effective at lowering blood sugar; however, numerous concerns over the drug’s safety led to the FDA requiring Janssen to produce five post market studies to evaluate the drug’s cardiovascular outcomes, bone safety, pediatric uses, and to conduct an enhanced pharmacovigilance program. Already hugely popular today, the drug was projected to generate in excess of $468 million in annual sales by 2016. Nearly 26 million Americans suffer from Type II diabetes.

Invokana Side Effects

Invokana is effective at reducing the bloodstream’s supply of sugar by blocking a normal function of the kidneys and allowing glucose to be excreted in the urine. Normally, the kidney excretes waste through the urine while allowing glucose to return to the bloodstream. By allowing glucose to exit the body through the urine, Invokana addresses one symptom but creates a danger of others, according to researchers, physicians, and patients.

Invokana Side Effects

Physicians, such as Dr. David M. Nathan of Harvard Medical School, question whether the drug should even be in use in the United States given the drug’s risks and its lack of effectiveness. Dr. Nathan says the drug has a “fairly weak” ability to lower glucose levels – and that combined with serious Invokana side effects leaves physicians unconvinced of the drug’s worth. According to Dr. Nathan:

Invokana is “not substantially better” and is “in some ways worse” than the older, less expensive, generic drugs.

During its first year on the market in the U.S., 457 serious adverse event reports were made to the FDA. Since it is widely accepted that the number of reported adverse events is a fraction of the true number of people experiencing such incidents, it is believed that Invokana side effects occurred in a large number of patients.

The Institute on Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) says that Invokana had more serious adverse event reports that 92% of other drugs it was monitoring. In its May 2015 issue of Quarterwatch, the ISMP questioned whether there were benefits that outweighed the risk of Invokana side effects:

“The unanswered question about canagliflozin (Invokana) is whether it has clinical benefits and whether those benefits outweigh its risks.”

The most common Invokana side effects include ketoacidosis, blood acid problems, kidney failure and kidney impairment; less common side effects include heart attack and stroke, and the substance also causes other less serious conditions such as a dehydration, fluid imbalance, kidney stones, abnormal weight loss, and urinary tract infections. Until recently, patients were not warned of the risk of serious Invokana side effects. Serious hypersensitivity reactions are noted as another documented Invokana side effect.

Invokana Kidney Failure

Invokana Kidney Problems

Doctors and researchers believe the excretion of glucose through the urine is to blame for Invokana kidney failure and impairment. Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys are suddenly unable to filter waste products from the blood. This can result in waste buildup and chemical imbalance in the bloodstream, which can become dangerous at high levels. Kidney failure can accelerate quickly and can be fatal if untreated. Kidney impairment is another Invokana side effect.

Invokana Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a condition that affects diabetics when the blood’s ketone level becomes too high. Ketones are acids in the blood; naturally occurring, ketones become dangerous when their production is not tempered by the presence of insulin. Without insulin, the body begins to break fat down instead of sugars, producing ketones. Too many ketones in the blood lead to a toxic chemical imbalance called ketoacidosis. If left untreated, this blood acid problem can be fatal.

Invokana Heart Attack and Stroke

When the drug was first approved by the FDA, federal regulators made a stipulation that Janssen conduct five post-market studies to assess the drug’s safety in multiple realms. Included among these was an Invokana cardiovascular study, which was intended to measure any elevated risk of stroke or heart attack from the drug. No FDA warning has been issued on this side effects, yet cardiaovascular problems are still a potential result of Invokana.

Invokana Side Effect Lawyers Help Individuals and Families

Our attorneys handling Invokana injury lawsuits on behalf of persons and the families of persons who suffered from Invokana side effects such as blood acid problems, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, wrongful death and other injuries are drug safety litigation experts. They will work tirelessly on your behalf to assure you get the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one suffered from any Invokana side effects, an experienced attorney can help by answering your questions and giving you a sense of your legal options.

Invokana Injury and Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Persons and the family members of persons who suffered from serious Invokana side effects may have grounds for an Invokana lawsuit. We provide legal representation for Invokana injury lawsuits on a contingency basis, meaning that we charge no fee unless we win compensation on your behalf.