The latest report to surface regarding Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitors in the same drug family has added yet another serious side effect to the growing list. The FDA has already launched an investigation into reports that have linked the medicines to ketoacidosis, which results when ketone levels create excessive acids in the blood. Now we can add pancreatitis to the list of side effects, and this one is serious as it is a rare and very deadly condition that results from the inflammation of the pancreas. This latest news will not bode well for the maker of Invokana, which is already the subject of numerous lawsuits.
The Current Side Effects Associated with Invokana
To understand the side effects associated with Invokana, you need to understand the mechanics of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and how the medication works to reduce blood sugar in type-2 diabetics. One of the ways in which glucose is eliminated from the body is through our urine and Invokana prevents the kidneys from reabsorbing excess glucose, thus passing it through the urine instead of back into the blood stream. Due to these mechanics, the following side effects are now suspected and linked to the medication.
- Development of urinary tract infection or yeast infection. Bacteria and yeast both feast on sugar for survival and growth, so it is not surprising that diabetics have a greater risk of developing either form of infection. Invokana increases the chance of infection through increased glucose in the urine. Studies have also shown that those taking Invokana urinate more frequently, which only exacerbates these risks.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis. This condition is the result of abnormal ketone levels in the blood. When the body does not have access to sugar due to insulin resistance or low blood sugar, it breaks down its fat and protein stores instead. You may think that this would be a good thing, but when the liver and kidneys are unable to regulate the resulting ketone levels in the blood it results in increased blood acidity, which has the potential for fatality.
- Kidney failure. The diuretic property of Invokana places a great deal of strain on your kidneys, liver and pancreas. An excessive work load can have an impact on your kidneys, ultimately resulting in infections or sudden kidney failure.
- Acute pancreatitis. The latest report indicates that the cause of acute pancreatitis in patients taking Invokana may be linked to its diuretic qualities. Forcing the kidneys to eliminate glucose through urine also forces them to dump more water, increasing the toxic load of the liver and pancreas. This may cause the pancreas to become inflamed or infected and is a very rare and serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Off Label Prescriptions
Invokana received approval solely for use to lower blood glucose levels in type-2 diabetics, but reports indicate it has also been prescribed off label to type-1 diabetics as well. Doctors are allowed to prescribe medications for unapproved use at their own discretion, but this can lead to cases in which drug manufacturers dodge the approval process by offering doctors incentives to prescribe medications off label. Because of key differences in the two forms of diabetes, it is extremely important that considerations are taken to tailor treatment to the specific form of diabetes a patient suffers from and Invokana can pose serious risks to type-1 diabetics who have been prescribed the medication despite lack of FDA approval. Off label prescriptions are one of the many ways pharmaceutical companies avoid seeking approval for medications and the only way to hold them accountable seems to be through civil action.
The Chicago Invokana attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are currently reviewing cases involving injuries resulting from the use of Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitors. If you were prescribed one of these medications and suffered from adverse conditions such as ketoacidosis, acute pancreatitis or kidney failure, contact us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our award winning attorneys. We’ve recovered compensation on behalf of thousands of clients across Illinois and can help you recover the cost of your medical treatment, out of pocket expenses and compensation for your pain and suffering. Once we’ve had the opportunity to review your case, we can discuss your legal options and decide upon the legal recourse that is most appropriate.
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