The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has announced new warnings about an increased risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in diabetes patients who take Invokana (generic: canagliflozin). Users of this drug have required hospitalization and dialysis due to kidney failure caused by DKA.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been harmed by the side effects of Invokana, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a class action suit and we can help.
What’s the Problem with Invokana?
Invokana is a newer anti-diabetic medication that belongs to the ‘SGLT2 inhibitor’ (sodium-glucose-co-transporter 2) class. These drugs work to lower blood sugar by encouraging the body to release excess sugar into the urine.
Normally, insulin is produced by the body to help move glucose (sugar) from the blood into cells where it can be used as energy. Patients with type 2 diabetes are often resistant to insulin, causing the sugar to remain in the blood, where it is unusable by the cells. This excess sugar is excreted into the urine but is reabsorbed by the kidneys.
Invokana stops the kidneys from reabsorbing sugar to help reduce blood sugar levels. This results in more sugar being excreted through the urine, which increases the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Serious UTIs can result in kidney failure and the need for dialysis, which may be life-threatening.
Invokana and Diabetic Ketoacidosis
In addition to UTIs, Invokana may also increase the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (also known as DKA, diabetic acidosis, metabolic ketoacidosis or ketoacidosis), a severe and potentially fatal side effect. In patients with type 2 diabetes, the body is unable to use sugar in the blood and begins to break down fat to use as energy. This causes ketones, an acidic byproduct, to accumulate in the bloodstream. When the blood is acidic due to DKA, potassium levels may become elevated to dangerous levels, increasing the risk of heart attack.
DKA typically gives ample warning before it occurs, but it can also happen with little to no warning. If you check your blood glucose levels regularly, you won’t miss the most important warning signs – elevated blood glucose and ketones in your urine. Test your urine for ketones whenever your blood glucose is more than 300 mg/dl or you feel sick.
Symptoms of DKA include:
- Blood glucose over 240 mg/dl and not falling
- Classic symptoms of hyperglycemia – intense thirst, dry mouth, need to urinate frequently
- Lack of appetite / stomach pain
- Vomiting / nausea
- Blurry vision
- Warm, dry or flushed skin
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling of weakness
- Fruity odor on your breath
Most cases of DKA should be treated in an intensive care unit during the first 24-48 hours. Treatment typically involves a combination of:
- Correcting fluid loss with intravenous (IV) fluids
- Correcting high blood glucose (hyperglycemia) with insulin
- Managing electrolyte imbalances (particularly potassium loss)
- Correcting acid-base balance
- Treatment of concurrent infections, if present
DKA and HHS
diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS) are 2 of the most severe acute complications of diabetes. DKA is characterized by ketoacidosis and hyperglycemia, while HHS typically has more severe hyperglycemia but no ketoacidosis. Each condition represents an extreme in the hyperglycemia spectrum.
Other Side Effects
In addition to DKA, other side effects of Invokana may include:
- Heart Attack
- Kidney Failure / Kidney Stones
- Bone Fractures
- Testicular Cancer
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Severe Dehydration / Fluid Imbalance
- Abnormal Weight Loss
- Hypersensitivity (Allergic Response)
- Blood Infections (Urosepsis)
- Fungal Infections
- Yeast Infections (both men and women)
Has a DKA Class Action Been Filed?
When popular medications like Invokana are suspected of causing life-threatening side effects, the number of lawsuits filed can reach staggering numbers. When this occurs, plaintiffs may elect to consolidate their cases into a class action or multidistrict litigation (MDL) to expedite legal processing.
A plaintiff in Canada is currently seeking class action status for an Invokana lawsuit. However, a class action is not necessarily the optimal choice for complaints filed in the U.S., due to differences in law between the 2 countries. In fact, our lawyers believe that individual lawsuits consolidated via MDL can offer much more flexibility and possible compensation for Invokana plaintiffs.
Do I Have an Invokana DKA Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Invokana lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new DKA cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you’ve been injured by Invokana, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.
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