Diabetic Ketoacidosis the Invokana Side Effect

New Issue to Monitor

Type II diabetes demands lifestyle changes. Changes in diet. Changes in exercise. It must be constantly monitored, and carefully treated. Controlling diabetes is challenging, to say the least. But it turns out patients now need to add one more concern to the list of things they need to monitor—the very drug designed to control their insulin levels and keep them healthy.

Last May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration updated a warning about a type of drug known as sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, the most common of which is known by its market name, Invokana. Invokana, and drugs like it, are designed to control insulin levels in Type II patients by preventing the kidneys from reabsorbing extra blood sugar. Instead of traveling into the kidneys, where the glucose can damage the organs, Invokana forces the extra sugar out of the body through the urinary tract. For many patients, SGLT2 inhibitors have been an easy way to find peace of mind when it comes to managing the many lifestyle changes associated with a Type II diabetes diagnosis. But this isn’t the case for everyone taking Invokana. The FDA’s warning reports numerous cases of Invokana causing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a dangerous condition which can lead to coma and, in some cases, even death.

The Signs of Invokana Diabetic Ketoacidosis

The FDA report, first issued in December of 2015, warns patients to “pay close attention for any signs of ketoacidosis and seek attention immediately if they experience symptoms.” These symptoms may include difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion, and unusual fatigue or sleepiness. While type II diabetes carries with it many health concerns, diabetic ketoacidosis is rare. In fact, DKA is usually associated with Type I diabetes, meaning type II patients suffering from the side effects of Invokana face the complications of a completely different form of the diabetic condition.

Invokana Injury Claims

Several Invokana injury claims have been filed as a result of complications related to Invokana and other SGLT2 drugs. This past December, an Alabama woman sued the makers of Invokana, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, claiming the company withheld information about the full risks associated with taking the drug. According to the suit, Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, concealed information about the dangers of Invokana, and after only a short time on the drug, the plaintiff, Luana Collie, developed diabetic ketoacidosis. According to Birmingham, Alabama’s WSFA news, Ms. Collie is only one of fifty patients who reported renal impairment and kidney failure after taking Invokana— all within one year of the drug’s introduction on the market.

As a result of these reports, the FDA announced new label requirements for Invokana, with warnings about the potential dangers tied to SGLT2 inhibitors. The hope is that, with straightforward information about the reported side effects of Invokana, physicians and patients will be able to make more informed decisions about whether or not to start a person on the drug. More importantly, clear information about these health risks may save lives, as patients can watch for the early symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis and seek immediate medical attention if they experience any side effects.

If you are interested in finding out if you may be able to file an Invokana claim, fill out our free case review today.