Rosalba Joudry of Nova Scotia took the the type 2 diabetes medication Invokana for eight months but stopped when she saw an advertisement on American TV that linked Invokana to dangerous side effects. Shortly after, her kidneys began to fail.
Joudry filed a lawsuit in the Ontario (Canada) Superior Court of Justice, which is now the center of a potential class action lawsuit in that country. The lawsuit seeks more than $1 billion in damages on behalf of Canadian patients who claim to have been harmed by the medication. The lawsuit names Invokana maker, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
“We believe that Invokana is a very risky drug for kidney failure, and that the medial profession and users of the drug should be alerted to the dangers and consider very carefully whether they continue on Invokana,” attorneys representing plaintiffs in the lawsuit told CBC News. The class action has not been certified in Canada but legal experts expect it to be within months.
Janssen already faces mounting lawsuits in the United States alleging the medication can cause too much acid to build up in patients’ blood, a condition known as ketoacidosis. If left untreated, ketoacidosis can lead to coma and death.
Invokana works differently than other diabetes medications in that it filters excess sugar through the kidneys and excretes it through the urine. Other reported Invokana side effects include acute kidney injury, also called AKI or acute renal failure. The condition develops rapidly over a few hours or days and can be fatal.
Invokana is in a class of type 2 diabetes medications known as SGLT2 inhibitors. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued numerous warnings with the drug since it was approved for marketing in the U.S. in 2013. The medication was approved by Health Canada in May 2014.
Source: CBC News