On December 4, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finally updated a safety announcement, first issued the previous May, about the serious side effects of a recently-approved class of diabetic “wonder drugs.” The medications of that class are known as gliflozins, or “sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors”, the best known being Invokana. The specific side effect addressed in the warning is a condition known as ketoacidosis, in which the blood becomes dangerously acidic.
Public Citizen: “FDA Must Stop Manufacturers' Off-Label Promotion of Dangerous Diabetes Medications”
Janssen Pharmaceutica has allegedly been engaging in illegal marketing tactics for its diabetic medication Invokana – and consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen has called them out on it.
Is Janssen Pharmaceutica Looking For New Markets For the Diabetes Drug Invokana, Despite Alleged Dangers and Lawsuits?
Invokana (canagliflozin) has been implicated in elevated risks of diabetic ketoacidosis (dangerous blood acidity), kidney failure, and more recently, osteoporosis (loss of bone density). Lawsuits involving Invokana against drug manufacturer Janssen allege that company executives were aware of these dangers and failed to warn consumers and the medical community.
In addition to kidney damage, ketoacidosis and heart attacks, it turns out that canagliflozin – sold under the brand names Invokana and Invokamet – increases the risks of osteoporosis, or loss of bone density.
SGLT2 inhibitors Invokana and Farxiga, used in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, have been targeted for a safety review by Canada's public health authority. These drugs cause excess blood sugar to be excreted through the urine. Ironically, they appear to cause one of the very conditions they were supposedly designed to prevent.
Recently, Levin Papantonio posted an article on early concerns expressed over the latest SGLT2 inhibitor, Invokana. Among those concerns, presented at a meeting of the FDA Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee (EMDA) in January 2013, was a question of whether or not Invokana was even effective. The question was raised by Dr. Sidney Wolfe, who heads up advocacy organization Public Citizen's Health Research Group.
Much of the recent bad news surrounding the new “miracle” diabetic drug Invokana (canagliflozin) has to do with a condition known as ketoacidosis, which can cause a dangerous rise in blood acidity. This in turn can lead to coma and even death. However, there is another increasingly apparent problem with this drug; and there is powerful evidence that both the drug maker and the FDA were aware of it.
Drugmaker Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma has a history going back almost 340 years, primarily resulting from a number of mergers, acquisitions and takeovers during the 20th Century. However, its current issues with the diabetic drug Invokana began only recently. It was in 2014 that the company entered into a three-year collaboration with AstraZeneca in order to share research and knowledge so as to more quickly produce drugs for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.
Invokana (canagliflozin) is the latest in a line of drugs designed to treat Type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes. Like its predecessors, glitazone (Actos, Avandia) and sitagliptin (Januvia), it has been implicated in a number of adverse events that have resulted in patient health complications, hospitalizations and even death.