Potential lawsuits are currently being considered regarding individuals who have experienced kidney or renal failure as the result of taking Invokana*, a new generation diabetes drug that has been linked to renal damage and other kidney problems.
What is Invokana?
Invokana is part of a new class of type 2 diabetes drugs known as sodium-glucose-cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, along with Invokamet, Farixga, Jardiance, Glyxambi, and Xigduo. If left untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to serious problems, including blindness, nerve and kidney damage, and heart disease.
SGLT2 inhibitors help control diabetes by blocking reabsorption of glucose by the kidneys, impacting normal kidney function and allowing more sugar to be passed from the body through urine. Common side effects of Invokana include vaginal yeast and urinary tract infections according to reports.
In May 2015, a report by the Institute of Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) discussed potential concerns regarding a potential link between Invokana and kidney damage after reviewing adverse event reports submitted to the FDA during the drug’s first year on the market after its approval in 2013. The group identified more than 457 incidents that implied signs of renal toxicity, including:
- Kidney failure
- Impaired renal function
- Kidney stones
- Urinary tract infection
That same month, the FDA warned that SGLT2 inhibitor use might lead to ketoacidosis, a serious condition in which the body produces high levels of blood acids known as ketones that may require a patient to be hospitalized. According to the FDA:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that the type 2 diabetes medicines canagliflozin, dapagliflozin, and empagliflozin may lead to ketoacidosis, a serious condition where the body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones that may require hospitalization. We are continuing to investigate this safety issue and will determine whether changes are needed in the prescribing information for this class of drugs, called sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors.
Patients should pay close attention for any signs of ketoacidosis and seek medical attention immediately if they experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion, and unusual fatigue or sleepiness. Do not stop or change your diabetes medicines without first talking to your prescriber. Health care professionals should evaluate for the presence of acidosis, including ketoacidosis, in patients experiencing these signs or symptoms; discontinue SGLT2 inhibitors if acidosis is confirmed; and take appropriate measures to correct the acidosis and monitor sugar levels.
Considering the severe implications of ketoacidosis and renal failure, those pursuing SGLT2 side effects lawsuits may demand damages for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Rehabilitation costs
- Funeral expenses
Plaintiffs may also decide to pursue punitive damages against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturers of Invokana, to hold them accountable for their alleged negligence and to further help to prevent future misconduct that may have occurred. The investigations of Invokana are ongoing at this time.
*Invokana is a registered product of Janssen Pharmaceuticals and their other related corporate entities. Their interests are adverse to ours as a law firm representing patients suffering from potentially related injuries.
A partner with Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC,, Brandon Smith has devoted his practice to pharmaceutical litigation, mass torts, products liability and serious personal injury. A frequent guest speaker at legal seminars all over the country—Brandon is focused on helping injured victims nationwide, however possible. Named a SuperLawyer again in 2019, he has also been called out as one of 10 Best Attorneys For Georgia by the American Institute Of Personal Injury Attorneys and a Top 100 Lawyer in Georgia by the National Trial Lawyers in 2019.