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New Diabetes Drug Could be Dangerous

Written by Berkowitz

spilled pillsThere are more than 30 million Americans currently living with Type 2 diabetes and the latest advancements in medication therapies and drug treatments have helped make their lives easier. But, recently there have been some promises regarding better blood sugar level controls and fewer side effects. The FDA approved a first-in-class diabetes medication known as Invokana in 2013. Made by Johnson & Johnson, this drug is a once-daily medication that controls blood sugar levels completely using a different mechanism than previous blood sugar control medications.

How Invokana Works

This is a new class of diabetic treatments that was developed over the last few years – more commonly referred to as SGLT2 inhibitors. They allow less glucose from food to be absorbed into the bloodstream – and all excess sugar is then flushed away via the urinary tract.

SGLT2 inhibitors, like Invokana, restrict a membrane protein in the kidneys from releasing sugar into the blood.

Other Drugs in the Same Class

There are other drugs currently being used in the same class for SGLT2 inhibitors. These include:

  • Invokana
  • Invokamet
  • Jardiance
  • Xigduo XR
  • Farxiga
  • Glyxambi

Are SGLT2 Inhibitors Dangerous?

Researchers and medical professionals have recently started to raise concerns about Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitors. There are concerns regarding its long-term effectiveness and safety. While Johnson & Johnson’s drug has been the main focus of the debate, the criticism focuses on the class of drugs rather than just the brand.

During their investigation, the FDA’s advisory panel did express some concerns that the SGLT2 inhibitors could be dangerous for those with pre-existing kidney problems. In May 2015, the FDA announced that Invokana and similar inhibitor drugs could create a dangerous buildup of acid in the blood, referred to as ketoacidosis. This condition can cause a wide array of medical complications including coma and death.

Ketoacidosis can be monitored by physicians, but only if diabetic patients know what to look out for. These symptoms often come on suddenly and, if left untreated, can become fatal. Some symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weakness or unexplained fatigue
  • Excessive thirst
  • Fruity breath
  • Excessive urination
  • High ketone levels in the urine
  • High blood sugar levels

What if I’m Injured by Invokana or Other Inhibitor Drugs?

If you have developed diabetic ketoacidosis because of the Invokana or other inhibitor class of drugs, you need to contact an attorney at Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today. We can discuss the facts of your case and help determine if you have a valid claim against the drug’s manufacturer. Some damages you may be entitled to include:

  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Additional medical costs
  • Loss of income (past and future)
  • Permanent disability
  • Reduced enjoyment of life
  • Prescription medications or surgeries
  • Emotional or physical pain and suffering

Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no obligation case evaluation. Call us or contact us online to get started.