As much as we all would like to believe that the medications commonly prescribed to treat chronic conditions like diabetes are safe and won’t cause us any harm, there are pharmaceutical drugs out there that have been linked to serious and potentially life-threatening complications, like diabetic ketoacidosis, which has been tied to the use of a popular class of Type 2 diabetes drugs called sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. If you used an SGLT2 inhibitor medication like Invokana (canagliflozin), Farxiga (dapagliflozin) or Jardiance (empagliflozin), and you have since suffered complications of diabetic ketoacidosis or another major medical condition, consult an experienced product liability lawyer today to discuss the possibility of filing a drug injury claim against the manufacturing company.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening medical condition characterized by excessive levels of acids in the blood called ketones that may require hospitalization, or may result in complications like diabetic coma and death. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when there isn’t enough insulin in the body for cells to get the sugar they need for energy, and so the sugar stays in the bloodstream. The kidneys may be able to filter some of the sugar from the bloodstream and remove it from the body through the urine, but when cells are unable to receive sugar for energy, the body responds by breaking down fatty acids for fuel instead, a process that produces acidic ketones that cause a chemical imbalance in the body.
Research has shown that diabetic ketoacidosis typically occurs in Type 1 diabetes patients with high blood sugar, but adverse events reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in recent years suggest that the condition may also affect Type 2 diabetes patients taking certain pharmaceutical drugs, namely SGLT2 inhibitors like Invokana, Farxiga and Jardiance. Some of the most common symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include the following:
In many cases, diabetic ketoacidosis results in hospitalization in an intensive care unit, where patients receive insulin and fluids through an IV and are closely monitored for signs of swelling in the brain or other serious complications. Diabetic ketoacidosis is considered a medical emergency, and without adequate and timely treatment, it can lead to death.
In May 2015, the FDA issued a drug safety communication notifying consumers and healthcare professionals about the potential for SGLT2 inhibitors like Invokana and Invokamet to cause diabetic ketoacidosis side effects in users. According to the agency, “the Type 2 diabetes medicines canagliflozin, dapagliflozin, and empagliflozin may lead to ketoacidosis, a serious condition where the body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones that may require hospitalization.” In its drug safety communication, the FDA highlighted 20 cases of acidosis reported as diabetic ketoacidosis, ketoacidosis or ketosis in patients taking SGLT2 inhibitors like Invokana between March 2013 and June 6, 2014. The FDA also noted that, in all 20 cases, patients required emergency room visits or hospitalization to treat the ketoacidosis.
FDA officials report that the federal agency has continued to receive adverse event reports involving DKA complications from SGLT2 inhibitor drugs, and will continue to investigate the safety issue to determine whether changes need to be made in the prescribing information for Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitor medications, to include the alleged risk of DKA complications. If you have suffered diabetic ketoacidosis side effects, and you believe Invokana or another pharmaceutical drug to be the cause, contact a knowledgeable drug injury lawyer today for legal help. You may have grounds to file a product liability lawsuit against the drug manufacturing company, in order to pursue the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.