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Invokana, generic name canagliflozin, is a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Invokana as the first drug of its kind (sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors). Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the pharmaceutical branch of Johnson & Johnson, manufactures the drug.

Among the complications associated with the drug is ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can lead to severe health problems, up to and including death. Patients may also be at risk of kidney problems and other troubling side effects.

Invokana Uses

Invokana helps patients with type 2 diabetes control blood sugar levels. It works by aiding the kidneys in removing glucose from the body. It does this by blocking SGLT2 carriers that normally help reabsorb and release glucose back into the bloodstream. When patients use Invokana, they excrete excess sugars through urination, rather than the sugars building up in their bloodstream.

Invokana Side Effects

Like any medication, Invokana may have certain side effects. Some possible side effects include:

  • Frequent and higher volume of urination
  • Getting up at night to urinate
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vaginal yeast infections
  • Yeast infections of the penis
  • Dehydration

The FDA has also received reports of acute pancreatitis in patients taking Invokana. The agency is evaluating whether to include a warning of acute pancreatitis associated with this and other SGLT2 inhibitors. The patients with reported cases of acute pancreatitis had taken Invokana before symptoms began, and symptoms subsided as patients received treatment and stopped taking Invokana.

Invokana may be associated with other, more serious complications too. This may include:

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Cardiovascular problems

Invokana and Diabetic Ketoacidosis

As of December 2015, the FDA requires Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitors to include a warning about the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a serious condition that can be fatal if left untreated.

DKA is a condition where the body is lacking insulin and thus cannot use glucose for energy. It instead starts to burn fat for energy, releasing ketones. Ketones can be toxic when they build up to high levels in the blood. Patients with DKA may experience symptoms such as:

  • High blood sugar
  • Frequent urination
  • Thirst and dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Breath with fruity odor
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Confusion

Patients with symptoms of ketoacidosis require immediate medical attention.

Invokana and Urinary Tract Infection

The FDA also requires a warning about the increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) associated with Invokana. UTIs can cause:

  • Burning during urination
  • Urgent need to urinate
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain or pressure in the pelvis
  • Bloody urine

The FDA also warns about the potential progression of UTIs into blood infections without proper treatments. Symptoms of bloodstream infections may include:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Fever
  • Pale complexion
  • Chills
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased heart rate


Blood infections can be fatal if untreated, so it is important to seek emergency medical care right away.

Invokana and Acute Kidney Injury

In June 2016, the FDA required a warning about the risk of acute kidney injury (AKI). Acute kidney injury is a condition where the kidneys cease to function, causing a potentially fatal buildup of waste. Symptoms of AKI include:

  • Chest pain
  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Swelling in legs and ankles
  • Very little urination

Patients with AKI may require hospitalization to receive treatment, which may include dialysis. AKI also increases the risk of kidney disease and kidney failure.

Invokana and Adverse Cardiovascular Events

Upon the drug’s approval, the FDA required Johnson & Johnson to monitor adverse cardiovascular events associated with the drug, and to complete the Cardiovascular Assessment Study (CANVAS), which began in 2009.

The CANVAS trial includes over 4,300 participants who have cardiovascular disease or are at risk for it. While the study is not yet concluded, preliminary data suggests a 46 percent increase in the risk of stroke for the first 30 days of taking the drug.

Finding a Lawsuit for Complications of Invokana

While Invokana can cause a wide array of serious complications and side effects, the focus of recent lawsuits is on ketoacidosis. These lawsuits claim there was an inadequate warning about the risks of DKA. Other lawsuits claim inadequate warning about the risk of stroke, blood clots, and kidney injury. Some plaintiffs required hospitalization and significant treatment for medical conditions they say are associated with Invokana.

If you or a loved one took Invokana, you might have a legal claim if you experienced any of the following:

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Blood clots or infections
  • Stroke
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Acute pancreatitis

If your lawsuit is successful, you may recover compensation for your damages, which may include:

  • Medical expenses associated with your health condition
  • Lost wages and earning potential
  • Pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages

These are just examples. Depending on your case, you may be eligible to recover compensation for other damages too. To review the damages you may be able to recover and determine your eligibility to file an Invokana lawsuit, talk to a lawyer who can help.

Call 1-800-DRUG-411 for assistance locating a lawyer who can answer your questions and help you pursue a lawsuit for your losses and expenses.

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