Few diseases are as debilitating as diabetes, and drug injuries can make the deadly condition even worse. It is also growing in prevalence at worrying rates, so pharmaceutical companies have rushed a number of medications to market in the last 10 or so years. However, many of these medications have only been lightly tested and have not received the scrutiny from their creators that they require. As a result, many patients have been harmed by treatment, and some have even died due to complications with medications. Unsurprisingly, many victims are seeking legal action against medication manufacturers, asserting that these manufacturers did too little to protect patients against severe side effects.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS FACING PATIENTS TAKING A DIABETES DRUG?

Injuries associated with these medications range in severity, but they can be life-threatening in some instances. This also depends on how the medication works. Most, like Januvia, Byetta, Janumet and Victoza, are known as incretin mimetics. These medications behave like certain hormones in the body that are primarily used to force glucose secretion, enabling the body to more quickly uptake blood glucose. A newer medication known as Invokana employs a completely different mechanism of action. Instead of stimulating glucose release, Invokana blocks the protein responsible for transporting glucose to the kidneys for reabsorption. This forces the body to pass the glucose through urine and eliminate it from the body.

Incretin mimetics are linked to several serious complications, including pancreas inflammation, unstable blood pressure, and tachycardia. They are also associated with deadly acute pancreatitis, including hemorrhagic and necrotizing pancreatitis. Byetta is also linked to kidney failure, heart failure, and thyroid cancer, making it particularly troublesome.

Invokana has only been available for a couple years, but it is already associated with some troubling medical complications. Invokana works by passing glucose through urine, but its mechanism of action forces the body to pass more urine, resulting in a higher chance of dehydration and bladder issues. In some cases, the process can cause a drop in insulin levels and force the body into a state known as diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. DKA is marked by increasing acidity of the patient’s blood, which can kill within 24 hours.

WHAT IS THE LEGAL PROCESS FOR THOSE HARMED BY A DIABETES DRUG?

Injuries associated with Januvia, Byetta, Janument, Victoza and Invokana can leave lasting complications, and many victims have to undergo expensive medical treatment to survive. Victims filing suits against the manufacturers are asserting that more research should have been done on the medications. They also assert that the manufacturers should have reacted faster to emerging research on their products.

In the coming years, patients who have taken a diabetes drug and suffered injuries will likely secure a number of judgments from the involved pharmaceutical companies. Victims can review their legal options with the help of an attorney, and decide on the best course of action.