What is Invokana?
Invokana (also known as Canagliflozin) is considered an SGLT2 Inhibitor (Sodium Glucose Contransporter-2 Inhibitor) and is prescribed to patients with Type 2 diabetes. Invokana works to increase the amount of sugar the kidneys remove from the blood and secrete it through the urine thereby lowering a patient’s glucose level. Invokana has been prescribed to millions of Americans with Type 2 diabetes. However, a new warning about a potentially life-threatening complication called Fournier’s Gangrene may make patients think twice.
What is Fournier’s Gangrene
Fourner’s Gangrene, also known as necrotizing fasciitis, is a rare bacterial infection that can have life altering implications. It attacks the genital region and usually gets into the body through a break in the skin. This infection can spread and destroy tissue in the genital area and can be life threatening.
Symptoms of Fournier’s Gangrene
Fournier’s Gangrene is considered a “flesh eating” infection. Knowing the symptoms and seeking immediate medical attention is critical. The symptoms can include:
- Tenderness, redness or swelling of the genitals
- Itching of the genitals
- Fever above 100.4
- General feeling of being unwell
These symptoms can progress rapidly.
In August 2018, the FDA required that gangrene be added as a risk to the prescribing information for all SGLT2 inhibitors. However, a new FDA analysis in May 2019 noted that patients taking SGLT2 inhibitors, including Invokana, may be at a greater risk of Fournier’s Gangrene than previously thought. The 2019 analysis noted:
- The FDA identified 55 unique cases of [Fournier Gangrene (FG)] in patients receiving SGLT2 inhibitors between 1 March 2013 and 13 January 2019. The patients ranged in age from 33 to 87 years old; 39 were men, and 16 were women. Time to onset after initiation of SGLT2 inhibitor therapy ranged from 5 days to 49 months. All patients had surgical debridement and were severely ill…Three patients died.
While 55 cases may not seem excessive, when you consider there were only 19 cases of Fournier’s Gangrene from 1984 to 2019 in individuals taking non-SGLT2 inhibitors, you realize this is a very significant increase.
Fournier’s Gangrene can lead to serious complications and death if it is not recognized immediately and surgical intervention is not quickly initiated. If you are taking Invokana and you believe you have any symptoms of Fournier’s Gangrene, seek immediate medical attention.
How Can We Help?
If you received a diagnosis of Fournier’s Gangrene while taking Invokana, our attorneys are available to discuss your potential claim. Lawsuits are often the only way for people to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable. The injury attorneys at Anapol Weiss will fight on your behalf for fair compensation. Call our office today to set up your free consultation.