SGLT2 Inhibitors — Bone Fractures, Kidney Damage, Heart Attack, Amputations

Invokana, Farxiga and Other SGLT2 Inhibitors

Type 2 diabetes can be a difficult condition to manage, particularly if you’re interested in non-insulin treatments. Because diabetes is a lifelong condition, choosing the best medication to control your symptoms is important. The last thing you want is a medication that might cause more harm than good.

So what do you do if, as a result of your medication, you’re faced with bone fractures, the threat of amputation or worse — a life-threatening blood condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), kidney damage, or a heart attack?

Allegations that Invokana, Farxiga and other similar diabetes medications may increase the risk of bone fractures, and potentially lead to death from DKA, kidney damage, and heart attacks, have prompted numerous FDA warnings — and lawsuits. Amputation of the lower limbs have been shown to double with Invokana use (and Invokamet, and Invokamet XR) compared to a placebo.

If you or a loved one has developed diabetic ketoacidosis, kidney damage, suffered a heart attack, fractured a bone, or have had a lower limb amputated as a result of any of these or similar diabetes medications (known as SGLT2 inhibitors) you may be entitled to compensation.

Contact us or call 1-866-900-7078 to talk to a North Carolina lawyer who can help you evaluate your side effects to determine if you may have a claim.

The Facts About Invokana, Invokamet, Farxiga and Other SGLT2 Inhibitors

Known as SGLT2 inhibitors, these diabetes medications help release glucose from your body through the kidneys, thus inhibiting the amount of glucose that is absorbed in the bloodstream.

  • Janssen Pharmaceutical’s (division of Johnson & Johnson)
    • Invokana (canagliflozin)
    • Invokamet (canagliflozin and metformin)
  • AstraZeneca’s
    • Farxiga (dapagliflozin)
    • Xigduo (dapagliflozin and metformin)
  • Boehringer Ingelheim’s and Eli Lilly’s
    • Jardiance (empagliflozin)
    • Glyxambi (empagliflozin and linagliptin)

While some are exclusively SGLT2 inhibitors, others are combination drugs that couple the base medication with metformin or linagliptin.

Because of the skyrocketing number of Type 2 diabetes diagnoses, Invokana, Farxiga, and their pharmaceutical cousins seemed, at first, to have the potential to revolutionize diabetes treatments. Yet, for unwitting patients, the presumed side effects and dangers of diabetic ketoacidosis, as well as risks of fractures, kidney damage, and heart attacks, and in some cases, lower limb amputation, may constitute more risks than benefits.

Side Effects of Invokana, Farxiga, Xigduo, Jardiance, Glyxambi, Invokamet

The concern with the use of Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitor drugs is the potential for:

  • Lower limb amputation. Invokana, Invokamet and Invokamet XR have recently come under fire after an aftermarket study showed twice the risk for lower limb amputation vs taking a placebo, prompting the FDA to issue their strongest warning — a Boxed Warning.
  • Bone Fractures
  • Kidney Damage
  • Heart Attack
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)

DKA is caused by increased levels of acids in the blood, known as ketones. Symptoms can be life threatening and include:

  • Ketones in the blood/urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Thirst
  • Feeling tired and lethargic
  • Blurry vision
  • Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting
  • Breathing changes (deep sighing breaths)
  • Smell of ketones on breath (similar to the smell of a pear)
  • Collapse/unconsciousness

DKA is often, but not always, accompanied by high blood glucose levels, especially if a patient is taking Invokana, Farxiga, or other SGLT2 inhibitors and they are working. The version of DKA with fewer blood sugar-related side effects is known as euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis and has all the same symptoms except for high glucose levels.

Both are serious and can be fatal.

FDA Warnings About Invokana, Farxiga, Xigduo, Jardiance, Glyxambi, Invokamet

Although these drugs remain on the market, the FDA continues to issue warnings.

According to a May 2015 FDA safety announcement, Invokana, and other SGLT2 inhibitors, may cause diabetic ketoacidosis. An American Diabetes Association article underscores this suspicion, stating, “SGLT-2 inhibitors seem to be associated with euglycemic DKA and ketosis…” The European Medicines Agency, which is working in conjunction with the FDA, reported 101 cases of DKA in Type 2 diabetes patients, and the FDA has documented at least 20.

Four months after the DKA warning, the FDA issued another one in September 2015 strengthening their warnings related to the increased risk of bone fractures.

A May 2017 FDA Drug Safety Communication stated, “Based on new data from two large clinical trials, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has concluded that the type 2 diabetes medicine canagliflozin (Invokana, Invokamet, Invokamet XR) causes an increased risk of leg and foot amputations. We are requiring new warnings, including our most prominent Boxed Warning, to be added to the canagliflozin drug labels to describe this risk.”

While the FDA is not yet requiring a warning to be added to all SGLT2 inhibitor labels, a panel at the European Medicines Agency (EMA – the European equivalent of the FDA) has determined that these warnings should be included for all SGLT2 drugs.

North Carolina Invokana Lawsuits

Patients are furious to find that these medications they relied on may have made them ill. Many are filing suit against manufacturers of SGLT2 inhibitors under allegations that they did not properly test the product prior to release.

Successful claims will likely receive compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, time from work, and physical and other damages.

North Carolina Lawyers Evaluating Claims Against Invokana, Farxiga, Xigduo, Jardiance, Glyxambi, Invokamet

We are currently investigating claims from patients taking Invokana, Farxiga and other SGLT2 inhibitors who suffered bone fractures or serious side effects related to symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis, kidney damage, heart attacks, and amputation.

If this sounds like you or someone you know, please call us at 1-866-900-7078 or click here to speak with a North Carolina lawyer who may be able to help you determine if you have a claim.

Case Results & Settlements

The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin consults with a national network of attorneys on product liability, defective drugs, and defective products cases in an attempt to provide the best representation we can for our clients. Depending on the details of your case, our firm will likely refer your matter to another law firm with which we associate. We will only do this if we believe it is in your best interests and if you agree.