Invokana Side Effects
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Recent clinical studies have shown that the risk of leg and foot 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.
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.
Ketoacidosis is a serious blood condition caused by the build-up of acid in the blood. It usually happens when there is not enough insulin in the body. As a result, the body is not able to use sugar in the blood for energy and it begins using stored fat for energy. Burning fat creates ketones which can change the chemical balance of the blood and affect the entire body. Left untreated, ketoacidosis can be fatal. Warning signs of ketoacidosis include dry mouth, severe thirst, and excessive urination.