Shortly after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent Invokana safety warning, Health Canada started its own safety review. In the FDA release, the public was warned about the use of canagliflozin (Invokana), a sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitor for type 2 diabetes patients. The warning states that the use of this drug may lead to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can cause a diabetic coma or death. In June 2015, Health Canada began a safety review of the drug with a preliminary search of the adverse reaction database; that search revealed one report of a 56-year-old man being hospitalized with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) while taking an SGLT2 inhibitor.
The Link Between Invokana and Ketoacidosis
Invokana helps type 2 diabetes patients regulate blood sugar by releasing excess glucose through urine. But as the FDA and Health Canada note, SGLT2 inhibitors can lead to severe, life-threatening side effects. Serious Invokana complications include urinary tract infections, yeast infection of the vagina as well as vulva, severe hypoglycemia, lower-limb amputations, and more.
Unforunately, ketoacidosis is among Invokana’s more serious (and potentially fatal) complications. To monitor your own status at home, you can order some cheap ketone testing strips off Amazon.
Type 1 diabetics develop ketoacidosis when their insulin levels fall too low. In fact, ketoacidosis can actually cause high blood sugar levels. However, DKA is rare among type 2 diabetics. According to the American Diabetes Association, this condition occurs when a person’s cells can’t draw sufficient energy from glucose. Then, your body starts burning fat for energy. This process produces excess ketones (proteins that break down fat for energy use). Ketones increase blood acidity levels. Once your ketone levels become too high, you risk developing ketoacidosis.
Multiple DKA cases were reported to the FDA by patients taking SGLT2 inhibitors. While DKA’s normally associated with increased blood sugar levels, most type 2 patients only had slight increases. This blood sugar level disparity make diagnosing and treating DKA even harder for diabetics as well as their physicians.
Known Health Risks for People with Diabetes
Diabetics have enough problems to worry about without the added risk of their medication sending them into a coma. Diabetes affects millions of Americans every day. According to the Mayo Clinic, the cause of type 1 diabetes is not yet known, although it is thought to be linked to genetics and environmental factors. It’s hard to determine exact type 2 diabetes causes. However, obesity is one common risk factor.
Pre-Diabetes Rising Among Adult Americans
People who have pre-diabetes are also at a high risk for developing the disease. Pre-diabetes is when a person has high blood sugar levels, but they aren’t yet high enough to be classified at type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes symptoms include:
- Blurred vision
- Increased urination
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, pre-diabetes affects around 86 million adults. Among those, 9 in 10 don’t know they have pre-diabetes. People can mitigate its effects by eating healthy and exercising regularly. In addition to unpleasant side effects associated with diabetes, people pay high prices for newer blood sugar-lowering medications. When you compound that with potentially deadly side effects, the cost becomes too high for most patients.
What You Can Do
Medication’s expensive, but hospitalization costs triggered by prescription drugs adds yet another financial burden. If either you or a loved one suffered adverse effects while taking Invokana, you may qualify for compensation. Get your free Invokana compensation evaluation now to see if you may have a case. After submitting your information, an attorney will call you to discuss compensation options and next steps for filing your Invokana injury claim.
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.