Invokana Side Effects
Learn more about injuries associated with Invokana
Recent clinical studies have shown that the risk of leg, foot and toe amputations for patients taking diabetes medications that contain Canagliflozin (Invokana, Invokamet, Invokamet XR) are almost twice as high as for patients taking a placebo. Toe amputation is the most common, but amputations both above and below the knee were also documented in the clinical studies.
Patients with pre-existing conditions such as neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease may be predisposed to amputation. Those who have had prior amputations or suffer diabetic ulcers in their feet may also be predisposed to amputation when taking Invokana.
Fournier’s (Genital) Gangrene
Fournier’s gangrene is a serious bacterial infection of the tissue under the skin in the genital area. Initial symptoms of Fournier’s gangrene include fever and general discomfort leading to moderate to severe pain and swelling in the genital and anal areas. As the condition progresses, the genital area takes on an off-putting smell and skin begins sloughing off. At this point, full-blown gangrene sets in. In severe cases, the gangrene can move to the thighs and up to the chest wall. Although rare, Fournier’s gangrene can be life threatening.
Drugs like Invokana work by causing the kidneys to remove excess sugar from the blood. The presence of sugar in the blood increases the likelihood of urinary tract infections which can spread into the blood and damage the kidneys. In the worst cases, it can lead to kidney failure.
By 2015, just two years after Invokana was approved, the FDA required the manufacturers of Invokana to add a warning label to the Invokana packaging alerting people to the possibility of liver damage.
Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe, the co-founder and director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, raised questions about the safety of Invokana when it was approved back in 2013. According to Dr. Wolfe, Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ own research showed that Invokana use leads to increased levels of hematocrit (the concentration of red blood cells) in the blood. Excessive hematocrit levels cause blood clots which can lodge in the heart causing a heart attack.