Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson are facing dozens of lawsuits in state and federal court over kidney injuries caused by the diabetes drug Invokana. The Food and Drug Administration has issued multiple warnings about kidney injuries and other complications linked to Invokana. Patients who have suffered kidney damage after using Invokana may be eligible to file a lawsuit.
What Is Invokana?
Invokana (canagliflozin) is part of a class of diabetes drugs known as sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors. These drugs, also known as SGLT2 inhibitors, are designed to help lower blood sugar levels in patients with Type 2 diabetes.
In 2013, Invokana became the first SGLT2 inhibitor to receive approval from Food and Drug Administration for sale in the U.S. The diabetes drug is manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a division of Johnson & Johnson. About 1.5 million prescriptions for Invokana are written in the U.S. every year according to FDA data.
Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitors work by blocking the activity of a protein that reabsorbs glucose into the body. By blocking the activity of this protein, more glucose is able to pass out of the patient’s body in the urine. By eliminating glucose from the body, the drug helps to lower the blood sugar levels of diabetes patients.
Canagliflozin, the active ingredient in Invokana, is also sold under the brand name Invokamet, which combines the drug with another medication, metformin. Invokamet is also prescribed to treat patients with type 2 diabetes.
FDA Warnings About Invokana
In May 2015, the FDA warned that patients taking Invokana or other SGLT2 inhibitors may face an increased risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition in which excess levels of blood acids known as ketones are produced by the body. The FDA said that all of the patients who were diagnosed with ketoacidosis after taking Invokana or other SGLT2 inhibitors required hospitalization in order to treat their condition. In some cases, diabetic ketoacidosis may lead to coma or death.
In June 2016, the FDA issued a warning about the risk of life-threatening kidney injuries associated with the use of Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitors. The agency warned that patients taking these diabetes drugs may face an increased risk of acute kidney injury, in which the kidneys suddenly stop working. Symptoms of acute kidney injury may include decreased urine or swelling in the legs and feet. In some cases, the type of kidney damage linked to Invokana may be fatal in some patients.
The FDA ordered Janssen and other manufacturers of SGLT2 inhibitors to update the warning levels on these medications in December 2015 concerning an increased risk of infection associated with these drugs. The agency warned that patients taking Invokana or similar medications may develop urinary tract infections that can develop into blood or kidney infections that may require hospitalization.
The FDA has also warned about an increased risk of lower limb amputations associated with the use of Invokana. According to the warning, Invokana users were up to twice as likely to undergo amputations of the toes, feet, or legs. The FDA advised patients to talk with their doctors if they noticed pain or tenderness in their legs or feet, sores or ulcers, or infections in the lower extremities.
Lawsuits Filed On Behalf of Invokana Patients With Kidney Injuries
In December 2015, the first lawsuit against Janssen and Johnson & Johnson over complications from Invokana was filed in Pennsylvania. The lawsuit was filed by diabetes patient who alleged that he developed diabetic ketoacidosis as a result of taking Invokana. The lawsuit alleged that Janssen and Johnson & Johnson knew about the health risks of Invokana but failed to properly warn doctors and patients about these risks. Dozens of more lawsuits were subsequently filed against Janssen and Johnson & Johnson in state and federal court by patients who developed serious and potentially life-threatening kidney damage after taking the diabetes drug.
Attorneys representing Invokana users who had filed lawsuits against Janssen and Johnson & Johnson in federal courts nationwide filed a motion in September 2016 to consolidate these lawsuits in New Jersey federal court, where both companies are headquartered. In December 2016, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued an order to consolidate 55 Invokana lawsuits that had been filed in 11 separate federal jurisdictions to be consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Jersey.
Since the order was issued, dozens of additional claims have been added to the New Jersey Invokana MDL. Johnson & Johnson and Janssen have also faced dozens of lawsuits filed in Pennsylvania state court by Invokana users who suffered kidney injuries or ketoacidosis after taking the diabetes drug.
Kidney Injuries from Invokana? You May Qualify to File a Lawsuit.
If you or a loved one have suffered kidney damage, kidney failure, diabetic ketoacidosis, or other serious injuries that may be caused by Invokana, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries and medical expenses. The first step in finding out if you may qualify to file a claim is to speak with an experienced pharmaceutical litigation attorney.
The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have represented hundreds of patients who have suffered injuries caused by dangerous drugs or other defective medical products. Our attorneys have handled more cases involving the powerful opioid painkiller fentanyl than all other law firms in the U.S. combined. Heygood, Orr & Pearson has also filed lawsuits on behalf of patients who were injured by Yasmin birth control pills, the diabetes drugs Actos and Avandia, or the anti-nausea drug Zofran.
For more information about Invokana lawsuits against Janssen and Johnson & Johnson and to learn whether you may qualify to file a case, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following this link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions about your case to get started.