Johnson & Johnson’s Invokana, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March 2013, is prescribed to people with Type 2 diabetes. When Invokana was approved, it was the first drug in a new class known as sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. These drugs help prevent high blood sugar levels by causing the kidneys to remove excess blood sugar through urine.
The FDA stated in May 2015 in a drug safety announcement that it was investigating reports that these drugs may cause a serious condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis. According to the FDA, there were 457 serious adverse events reported between March 2013 and 2014. At least 20 cases of ketoacidosis linked to the SGLT2 inhibitor class of drugs were reported in the span of 15 months and all required emergency room visits or hospitalization.
Diabetic ketoacidosis, normally associated with Type 1 diabetes, is a serious but treatable condition that occurs when acidic waste products known as ketones build up in the blood and urine. It occurs when the body starts to break down fat cells for fuel because it cannot use glucose in the bloodstream because there is too little insulin. When fat cells break down, ketones are released. If untreated, the ketones may trigger toxic acid levels and can lead to diabetic comas or death. If you need more information on this matter, contact Melissa Prickett at 800-898-2034 or by email at Melissa.Prickett@beasleyallen.com.
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