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Invokana® Lawsuit Information
According to estimates, nearly 30 million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes. That’s nearly 10 percent of the country’s total population. Type 2 diabetes is a serious public health problem, and the people who suffer from it need to take steps to manage this disease properly. Many sufferers of type 2 diabetes work to live a healthy lifestyle that includes moderate exercise and a proper diet. Patients are also prescribed medication, and one of the leading drugs used to manage type 2 diabetes is known as Invokana®. Invokana® provided help to an enormous number of patients, but unfortunately allegations of serious Invokana® side effects eventually began to surface. Below you’ll find an overview of this issue. If you have suffered health problems as a result of using this medication and need to consider filing an Invokana® lawsuit, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, manufactures Invokana® . The United States Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, approved Invokana® for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults in March of 2013. The drug quickly penetrated the marketplace. It generated nearly $600 million in revenue in 2014. Sales of Invokana® skyrocketed to $1.3 billion in 2015. Invokana® continues to generate enormous amounts of revenue for Janssen and Johnson & Johnson.
Invokana® is also a member of a class of drugs known as sodium-glucose co-transporter 2, or SGLT2 medications. SGLT2s are all used to treat type 2 diabetes. Other common brand names that are SGLT2s include:
- Xigduo XR
Given the tens of millions of people in the United States who suffer from type 2 diabetes, SGLT2s are likely going to continue to be extremely prevalent.
HOW INVOKANA® WORKS
Insulin is the substance in the body that controls the level of sugar, known as glucose, in the bloodstream. Basically, insulin is a hormone that removes excess sugar from the blood. When cells become resistant to insulin, blood sugar levels continue to rise until they climb to a level that’s too high. The body of a person who does not have type 2 diabetes will have glucose filtered from the blood when the kidneys simultaneously clean that person’s blood. This does not occur normally for those who have type 2 diabetes, as sodium glucose co-transporter 2 reabsorbs that glucose into the bloodstream. This is what leads to blood sugar levels rising to unsafe levels for people who have type 2 diabetes.
The active ingredient in Invokana® is known as canagliflozin. Canagliflozin works by inhibiting the sodium glucose co-transporter 2 process. Hence, the name of the group of medications that include Invokana® . The medication allows for the excess glucose that would otherwise be reabsorbed into the blood by someone with type 2 diabetes to be excreted through the urine. The result is that Invokana® , in theory, helps to regulate the level of blood sugar in the patient, minimizing the chance that it will ever rise to dangerous levels.
ALLEGED INVOKANA® SIDE EFFECTS
Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before reports of Invokana® side effects began to surface. There are several alleged Invokana® side effects that have prompted people to take legal action. A few of them include:
- Kidney failure
- Increased risk of heart attacks
- Loss of bone density
- Bone fractures
Another alleged Invokana® side effect has been the thrust of a large number of Invokana® lawsuits – a condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a dangerous problem whereby the lack of insulin in the body leads to cells not getting the amount of glucose that they need to survive. Therefore, the sugar that is not getting into the cells remains in the bloodstream. This forces the cells to look for other sources of energy. This leads the cells to fat and muscle. When the cells break down fat and muscles for the energy they need, it produces acids known as ketones. These fatty acids enter the bloodstream, thereby creating a chemical imbalance in the body that is akin to simply having too much acid present.
Diabetic ketoacidosis can lead to a diabetic coma and even to death. Common symptoms of DKA include:
- Constant thirst or a dry mouth
- Frequent urination
- Constant fatigue
- Dry skin
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
- General confusion
- A strange fruity odor on the breath
- Difficulty waking up from sleep
Diabetic ketoacidosis can progress to dangerous, life-threatening stages within a matter of hours after its initial development. People who are diagnosed with DKA need to report to the hospital for intensive treatment and monitoring so that fluid and insulin levels can be restored to their proper levels.
INVOKANA® LAWSUITS AND THE MULTIDISTRICT LITIGATION
Given the damage that’s allegedly been caused by this medication and Invokamet, a similar drug, approximately 100 Invokamet and Invokana® lawsuits have been filed against Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson. In December of 2016, the Invokana® lawsuits were consolidated into what is known as a multidistrict litigation, or MDL. This MDL is proceeding in federal court in New Jersey.
A multidistrict litigation or MDL is formed when a large number of individual plaintiffs file lawsuits against a defendant or group of defendants. The claims are substantially similar both in the facts alleged and the harm caused. A panel of judges decides whether or not to allow an MDL to form. If it is formed, the benefits of an MDL include:
- The avoidance of duplicative discovery
- The ability to have several cases heard simultaneously
- The avoidance of inconsistent results in different courts
- The ability for the defendant or defendants to resolve all or most of these claims
Many people may think of this as an Invokana® class action lawsuit, but class action lawsuits differ from MDLs in that class action lawsuits are basically one claim with several plaintiffs. The claims in MDLs are still seen as separate cases even though they proceed simultaneously.
THE ALLEGATIONS CONTAINED IN INVOKANA® LAWSUITS
Plaintiffs that are filing Invokana® lawsuits are generally claiming the following against Janssen and Johnson & Johnson:
- Negligently manufacturing an unsafe medication
- Failing to properly test Invokana® before it was released to the market
- Failing to fully disclose the risk of Invokana® side effects to the public
- Continuing to market Invokana® aggressively after the manufacturer knew of these risks
These are common allegations in defective drugs lawsuits. Many of the plaintiffs who have filed Invokana® lawsuits are also including an FDA warning that was issued in 2015 as part of their claims. This “Safety Communication” issued by the agency, which can be found here, stated that there was a link between Invokana® and diabetic ketoacidosis. Later in 2015, the FDA announced that it was requiring the manufacturers of Invokana® to change the labels on the medication that warned of the risk of bone fractures and the loss of bone density for those who used the drug.
HOW INVOKANA® SIDE EFFECTS LAWYERS CAN HELP
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis or some other alleged Invokana® side effect, you need to act quickly to make sure that your legal rights are properly protected and, if necessary, enforced. You can do so by seeking the advice of Invokana® side effects lawyers who have been fighting for the rights of consumers against large corporations for more than a decade. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today to schedule a free initial consultation.
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