Type 2 diabetes medicine Invokana (canagliflozin) causes an increased risk of leg and foot amputations, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Johnson & Johnson has sold the drug to Americans since 2013. But the company did not add amputation warnings to the drug’s label until 2017. Similar diabetes medicines, Invokamet and Invokamet XR, also cause an increased risk of leg and foot amputations.
Invokana patients are twice as likely to undergo leg and foot amputations as patients not taking the drug, studies show.
Invokana is a medication used to treat Type 2 diabetes. It lowers the blood’s sugar content by increasing the output of urine that contains added amounts of sugar.
More urinary output can also result in dehydration. When the body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids, it can’t carry out normal functions. This includes blood circulation.
Reduced blood circulation affects legs, feet and toes. Not enough blood supply can increase a person’s risk of amputation.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a safety warning about Invokana’s link to increased amputations in 2017.
The federal agency also required the drug’s maker, Johnson & Johnson, to include a black box warning in the prescribing information about the medication’s amputation risk.
But for some patients, it was too late. More than 1,000 people who suffered from amputations after taking Invokana filed lawsuits against J&J and its subsidiary Janssen. Invokana amputation lawsuits ask for compensation for patients’ injuries. The first Invokana amputation trial is set for September 2018.
“Some patients had more than one amputation, some involving both limbs.”
Toe and middle-of-the-foot amputations are the most common amputations Invokana patients suffer.
Invokana can also cause patients to suffer leg amputations occurring below and above the knee.
Patients may need more than one amputation after taking Invokana. These amputations can involve one or both limbs.
Patients taking Invokana should be monitored for signs and symptoms of conditions that might make amputation necessary.
Infections or ulcers, especially when they reach the bone, can lead to amputations.
Even minor cuts or other trauma or punctures to the skin can lead to life-threatening infections. In these instances, amputation may be unavoidable.
Certain factors can make a patient more likely to need amputations.
Patients should tell their doctor if they have any of these conditions before taking Invokana.
The FDA required Invokana’s maker Johnson and Johnson to add a black box warning to the drug’s label in May 2017 to describe the risk of amputation.
A black box warning is the federal agency’s most serious type of warning.
The FDA based its decision on new data from two large clinical trials.
Two clinical trials assessed canagliflozin: CANVAS and CANVAS-R.
Canagliflozin is the active ingredient in Invokana. It is also one of two active ingredients in Invokamet and Invokamet XR.
The purpose of CANVAS was to determine whether canagliflozin is associated with reduced heart and blood vessel disease.
CANVAS-R’s purpose was to examine how the drug affected the presence of a liver protein called albumin in urine (an early sign of kidney disease).
Instead, the two studies found leg and foot amputations nearly doubled in people taking canagliflozin.
The trials involved more than 10,000 participants combined.
People with diabetes are more likely than other people to have a foot or leg amputated. This is according to the American Diabetes Association.
Amputation can result from diabetes or Invokana use. Poor blood circulation to the legs and feet causes the need for both types of amputation.
Invokana amputations begin with dehydration resulting from increased urination caused by the drug.
Diabetic amputations often begin with poorly controlled blood sugar levels.
Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.
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