Michael R. Wilkinson was prescribed Invokana (otherwise referred to as canagliflozin) in order to help manage his diabetic condition. He began taking the drug in April 2015. By December that same year, he was forced to undergo an amputation of his right leg below the knee. Unaware of the possible connection between his use of Invokana and the resulting amputation, Wilkinson continued to take the drug until May 2017.
Wilkinson was only prompted to stop taking Invokana, switch over to an alternative medication, and consider legal action after recent warnings were published about the drug and its connection to various negative conditions, including lower limb amputations.
The negative reports after FDA approval
Invokana entered the market in 2013, some two years before Wilkinson began taking the drug. Invokana is part of a new class of medications referred to as sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. Additional drugs falling into this class include Invokamet, Glyxambi, Farxiga, and Jardiance. These inhibitors reduce blood sugar by preventing the kidneys from reabsorbing glucose, as opposed to traditional diabetes medications that act after the cells have absorbed blood sugar.
Wilkinson began taking Invokana 25 months after the initial approval of canagliflozin by the U.S. Food Administration (FDA). At this time, physicians were in the process of switching many patients to the new SGLT2 inhibitor class.
However, in the days after the FDA approval of Invokana, the agency began to receive event reports from post-marketing studies as well as reports from patients indicating adverse reactions to the drug. In the same month that Wilkinson lost his lower right leg, the FDA started publishing warnings and mandating updates on the labels for these SGLT2 class products.
The FDA initially cautioned about Invokana and the potentially life-threatening condition of diabetic ketoacidosis – a condition that puts at risk normal kidney function.
A half year later, the FDA returned with more powerful warnings regarding SGLT2 inhibitor drugs as well as the reported side effects of Invokana. Finally, in May 2017, the FDA provided an updated warning concerning the potential risk for amputation of the foot and leg in connection with Invokana.
The warnings came too late
For Wilkinson, the amputation warning came too late. He had lost his right leg below the knee a year and a half earlier. The warning did, however, give Wilkinson indication of the connection between his diabetes medication and his amputation.
According to Wilkinson’s lawsuit, “Defendants knew or should have known the risks associated with the use of Invokana, including the risk of amputation. Plaintiff Michael R. Wilkinson’s injuries were a reasonably foreseeable consequence of Defendant’s conduct and Invokana’s defects.”
If you have suffered amputation or another negative outcome due to the drug Invokana or Invokamet, we are here to help you obtain the justice and compensation you deserve. The team at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC has the resources and experience to investigate your case and fight intelligently on your behalf to achieve an optimum result. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced defective drug lawyer, call us today at 803-327-7800 or send us a message through our contact form.
Randy is the former President of the South Carolina Association for Justice. He has been certified by the American Board of Professional Liability as a specialist in Medical Malpractice Law which is recognized by the South Carolina Bar. Randy has also been awarded the distinction of being a “Super Lawyer” 10 times in the last decade. He has over 25 years of experience helping injured people fight back against corporations, hospitals and wrong-doers.
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