Increased amputation risk associated with diabetes drug Invokana

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently added new warnings – including a high-profile "black box" – to the packaging of a popular Type 2 diabetes medication. The drug, canagliflozin (sold under the brand names Invokamet, Invokamet XR and most commonly Invokana) should help manage insulin, blood sugar levels and A1C. It should also, in theory anyway, prevent internal diabetes-related damage.

The medication went on the market in 2013, and soon became one of the most commonly prescribed diabetes drugs in America. Thousands upon thousands of patients have taken Invokana in the years since its introduction to:

  • Control blood insulin and sugar levels
  • Prevent damage to kidneys and other internal organs typically associated with Type 2 diabetes
  • Reduce dependence on artificial insulin
  • Supplement diet, exercise and lifestyle changes to help better manage symptoms
  • Lower the amputation risks of diabetes (uncontrolled diabetes causes circulatory issues, which can lead to a lack of blood flow, slow-healing infections, damaged nerves and other symptoms, all of which can necessitate amputation)
  • Lower A1C levels over time

Tragic results for some patients

Sadly, though many patients took Invokana to lower their amputation risk, the drug actually made it more likely that digit or limb loss would occur. A series of large-scale research trials that the FDA reviewed as part of its investigation into the drug revealed that those taking Invokana actually underwent amputations almost twice as often as those taking a placebo.

The new FDA warnings indicate that medical professionals should carefully consider patients’ risk factors for amputation before prescribing Invokana. These risks include:

  • A history of previous digit or limb amputation
  • Neuropathy (painful peripheral nerve damage often associated with Type 2 diabetes)
  • Wounds that won’t heal, particularly on the lower legs or feet, or wounds that become gangrenous
  • Ulcers or pressure sores on the bottom or sides of the feet
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • The presence of severe diabetes-related medical issues (like kidney damage, nerve damage, heart conditions or blindness)

Did you or a loved one suffer an amputation after taking Invokana? You may have legal options, including a claim against the drug’s manufacturer (Janssen Pharmaceuticals). Consult one of the skilled personal injury attorneys at the Columbus, Ohio, law offices of Colley Shroyer & Abraham. Call the firm today at 614-678-5072 or contact them online. They represent clients throughout Central Ohio, and have 40 years of success behind them.