What Are The Risks Of Taking The Medication Invokana?

by Terry Bryant

Every year, pharmaceutical companies release new treatments in the fight against diabetes, and Invokana is one of the latest advancements on that front. Also known by its trade name canagliflozin, this medication works by preventing the uptake of blood glucose in the body, forcing it to be excreted through the urine. It is effective at this task, and can filter out more than 100 grams of glucose a day, but it isn’t without risks. Among them is a serious condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis, which can quickly progress to fatal complications if it is not halted immediately.

The FDA approved the use of Invokana in 2013, but acknowledged even at that time that diabetic ketoacidosis was a possible danger in people taking the drug. Marked by dehydration, nausea, vomiting, confusion, abdominal pain, and later coma and death, diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when the body experiences a sudden drop in insulin. This results in a higher concentration of blood glucose, which is excreted through the urine. This drags a lot of water and important substances, like potassium and sodium, out of the body as well, resulting in dehydration. Canagliflozin worsens this effect. This process also signals the liver to release ketone bodies, which are acidic in nature and build up in the blood. Eventually, blood acid levels reach dangerous levels and can cause a catastrophic cascading effect.

The FDA is tracking cases of diabetic ketoacidosis linked to the medication, along with other serious effects that may be caused by the drug. There is a chance that the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis is unusually high, which may result in a wave of litigation directed against Johnson & Johnson. An attorney can help advise a person harmed by the drug in this way, and determine what their legal options are.