Invokana is a prescription medicine used to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. According to the FDA, “It belongs to a class of drugs called sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors… Canagliflozin lowers blood sugar by causing the kidneys to remove sugar from the body through the urine. It is available as a single-ingredient product under the brand name Invokana and also in combination with the diabetes medicine metformin under the brand name Invokamet.”
A 2013 warning by the FDA linked the SGLT2 inhibitors in canagliflozin to ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is a condition in which the blood becomes too acidic, and it has serious consequences. The Mayo Clinic lists symptoms including difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion, and fatigue. Untreated, however, ketoacidosis can also lead to:
- Low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can happen quickly and seemingly without warning. If left untreated, it can cause your loved one to go into a coma or have a seizure.
- Low potassium levels. Known as hypokalemia, low potassium is a real concern for people with diabetes. If it is not detected and treated, your heart, nerves and muscles can be affected.
- Cerebral edema. This is swelling in the brain, and it can happen if your blood sugar level is adjusted too quickly. Children as especially susceptible.
In the most tragic circumstances, ketoacidosis can cause a patient to fall into a coma, suffer seizures or even die.
Invokamet and lactic acidosis
The bad news continues to pile up. Patients who were prescribed Invokamet may be at even higher risk of potentially deadly side effects. Invokamet is a drug that combines canagliflozin (linked to ketoacidosis) and metformin, which has been individually linked to lactic acidosis. The combination of these two can cause highly dangerous and damaging levels of blood acid. The National Institutes of Health recommends having your electrolytes checked within two weeks of starting a drug like Invokamet, so that your doctors can correct the problem. People with a history of kidney disease cannot take metformin without an increased risk of wrongful death.
Invokana and Invokamet hit the market in 2013. Victims who have suffered injury or illness due to the drug began to step forward as early as last year. These claims are extremely serious and the consequences are devastating. If you have suffered side effects after being prescribed Invokana or Invokamet, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced and compassionate South Carolina defective drug attorneys at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.