Invokana, also known as canagliflozin, is a diabetes medication that regulates blood sugar levels. The medication falls in the class of a sodium-glucose co-transporter 2.
There are two types of diabetes which impact more than 380 million people across the world. The most serious form is type 1 diabetes. Type 1 forces the body's immune system to attack part of its own pancreas. The condition confuses the body to think that the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are foreign and thus, attempts to destroy them. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes. The condition usually develops in adults after the age of 35. While Type 2 diabetes sufferers are able to produce some of their own insulin, the amounts are usually not enough.
Invokana is meant to treat type 2 diabetes sufferers and does so by stopping glucose from being reabsorbed into the blood by the kidneys. Instead of reabsorbing, the kidneys secrete the sugar and forces the body to expel it by way of urination. Ultimately, the body has a much lower level of glucose in the blood.
Johnson & Johnson was the first manufacturer of a sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 and received approval on its Invokana medication in 2013. The drug's sales were huge - bringing in $278 million during the first quarter after its release. However, the Food and Drug Administration has since mandated that warnings be added to the drugs' labels, citing risks of ketoacidosis.
Ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition that stems from a buildup of acids in a person's blood. When the buildup reaches a certain level, the acids become toxic.
The Food and Drug Administration has also warned that Invokana can cause blood and kidney infections.
Lawsuits that have been filed against Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceuticals have been consolidated in the District of New Jersey in order to prove the efficiency and to help litigators better coordinate testimony and settlement negotiations. Plaintiffs claim that manufacturers rushed Invokana to the market without properly testing the product for side effects while also failing to warn about the dangers associated with the product. Outside of New Jersey, the number of lawsuits continues to climb around the country which could cause further consolidation.
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