Invokana, a widely-prescribed type 2 diabetes medication made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, has been linked to serious side effects including diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), heart attack, kidney failure and more. This article provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Invokana.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If or a loved one were injured by Invokana, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a class action suit and our lawyers can help.
What is Invokana?
Invokana (generic: canagliflozin) is a sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor that helps control blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. The drug was developed by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, and is marketed under license by Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a Johnson & Johnson company). Invokana was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on March 29, 2013.
How Does it Work?
Invokana works by preventing the kidneys from reabsorbing glucose (sugar) back into the bloodstream. This allows the kidneys to lower blood glucose levels and the excess glucose is removed from the body through the urine. This mechanism may also help some patients with weight loss.
What is the Dosing?
The recommended starting dose of Invokana is 100 mg once daily, taken before the 1st meal of the day. In patients tolerating this dosage who have an epidermal growth factor receptor (eGFR) of 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 or greater and require additional glycemic control, the dose may be upped to 300 mg once daily. Click here to learn more.
How Much Does it Cost?
The wholesale cost of Invokana is $8.77 per pill, according to a Janssen spokesperson. Retail cost for the 100 mg starting dose, without co-pays or healthcare coverage, is about $10 per pill, or $300 a month. This is much more than other diabetes drugs, seeing as metformin can cost as little as 25¢ per pill.
Can it Help with Weight Loss?
Invokana was associated with modest weight loss in an early trial of overweight patients who didn’t have hyperglycemia. In a phase IIb trial, obese and overweight patients who didn’t have diabetes lost a significantly larger percentage of body weight on any of 3 doses of Invokana compared with placebo (P<0.05), according to a report published online in the journal Obesity. This amounts to a “relatively modest” loss of approximately 2% to 3% of body weight, compared with about 1% loss with placebo.
Does Invokana Interact With Any Other Drugs?
Invokana is known to have interactions with at least 756 drugs (5053 brand and generic names). Click here for a complete list.
What are the Side Effects of Invokana?
Invokana has been linked to the following serious side effects:
- Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA, Diabetic Acidosis, Ketoacidosis)
- Heart Attack
- Kidney Failure (Renal Failure)
- Kidney Cancer
- Kidney Stones
- Bone Fractures
- Bone Abnormalities
- Testicular Cancer
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
- Severe Dehydration / Fluid Imbalance
- Abnormal Weight Loss
- Hypersensitivity (Allergic Response)
- Blood Infections (Urosepsis)
- Fungal Infections
- Yeast Infections (in both men and women)
What was the FDA Warning on Invokana?
On May 15, 2015, FDA warned that diabetes drugs from the SGLT2 inhibitor had been linked to diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition in which the body produces high levels of blood acids (ketones) that may require hospitalization. The warning came in response to at least 20 reports of ketoacidosis in patients treated with SGLT2 inhibitors. As a result of these problems, on December 4, 2015, FDA updated the labeling of the drugs to include information about DKA and serious urinary tract infections (UTIs).
What are the Symptoms of DKA?
Signs and symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include:
- Difficulty Breathing
- Abdominal Pain
- Unusual Fatigue / Sleepiness
How can SGLT2 Inhibitors Cause Ketoacidosis?
Potential triggering factors noted in patients treated with SGLT2 Inhibitors included acute illness changes such as infection (UTI, gastroenteritis, influenza or trauma), urosepsis, trauma, reduced caloric or fluid intake and reduced insulin dose. Other contributing factors included hypovolemia, acute renal impairment, hypoxemia, reduced oral intake and a history of alcohol use.
Has Invokana Been Recalled?
Despite being linked to diabetic ketoacidosis and other serious side effects, Invokana has not been recalled and continues to be prescribed to diabetes patients around the country. Considering its short time on the market (Invokana was approved in March 2013) and widespread usage, it is unlikely that Invokana will be pulled recalled in the U.S. anytime in the near future.
Are Lawsuits Being Filed?
Numerous lawsuits have already been filed by former Invokana users who were allegedly injured, and many more are expected in the coming weeks and months. Settlements in these cases are expected to be significant, considering the serious side effects linked to the medication. There are deadlines in which to file your claim, so it is important to act quickly in order to protect your rights.
Is There a Class Action?
To date, there has not been an Invokana class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. However, in September 2015, a class action was entered in Canada on behalf of individuals in that country who suffered kidney problems resulting from Invokana side effects. According to the complaint, Canadian patients have suffered $1 billion in damages from the drug.
What is a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)?
If multiple lawsuits are filed alleging similar injuries from Invokana, a multidistrict litigation (MDL) may be formed to consolidate the cases for pretrial handling. MDLs, which are different from class actions, are commonly established when many complaints are filed against the same defendant, and when the injuries to each plaintiff are unique.
Have There Been Any Settlements?
To date, no lawsuits have been settled in the Invokana litigation, and it is difficult to predict how much settlement amounts for these cases will be. However, our lawyers are currently reviewing potential lawsuits on behalf of people who were injured by Invokana. If we determine that you have a valid claim, you may be entitled to a settlement.
Do I Have an Invokana Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Invokana lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you were injured by Invokana side effects, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.