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Last modified: 2019-05-20

A certain class of drugs used to treat Type II diabetes, which falls into the class of SGLT2 inhibitors, has raised questions about whether the risks of side effects are truly worth the benefits this drug is supposed to provide. The FDA has been continuously reviewing these drugs in various tests since they first came to market. The FDA is also taking notice of the growing number of personal injury lawsuits.

Most of the diabetes drugs that are causing adverse side effects and deaths are fairly new, and some have only been on the market since 2013. For instance, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, part of Johnson & Johnson, released Invokana and Invokamet in 2013.

Around the same time, AstraZeneca PLC released Farxiga, another drug to treat Type II diabetes. Then Bristol-Myers Squibb, along with AstraZeneca, released Farxiga in 2014. In 2016, Eli Johnson & Company released Jardiance.

All of the pharmaceutical companies heavily promoted their drugs as a great product for people with Type II diabetes. However, what these pharmaceutical companies did not do is conduct proper studies into the potentially adverse and dangerous side effects.

Rather, they were in competition with each other to get their drugs to market as quickly as possible. They were not overly concerned about the risks to people taking their drugs. Instead, they were more concerned about the huge profits they could make from the new Type II diabetes medications.

As the FDA reviewed and studied the dangerous and adverse side effects from these SGLT2 inhibitors, what they started to uncover was alarming:

  • Some people were experiencing increased risks of heart attacks.
  • In some patients, the drug creates excess acid in the blood, a serious medical condition.
  • Other patients in the studies experienced adverse urinary tract infections.
  • Multiple patients developed sepsis, a dangerous blood infection that can cause death.
  • Patients even experienced kidney infections and acute kidney injuries, which led to acute renal kidney failure.
  • There is an increased risk of foot and leg amputations in people taking the drugs.

If these dangerous side effects weren’t enough, in August 2018 the FDA released another warning about the risks of the drugs causing Fournier’s gangrene—essentially, a dangerous type of flesh-eating bacteria that infects the genitals in men and women.

According to a news report from USA Today, there were twelve reported cases of the infection identified by the FDA from March 2013 through May 2018. Out of the 12 patients affected, each had to have surgery, which left some people disfigured. One patient died.1

senior couple discussing paperwork with their agent

The FDA has yet to recall any of the SGLT2 inhibitor drugs. Yet, many victims of serious adverse side effects and surviving family members of loved ones that have died have started filing product liability lawsuits against the manufacturers.

As the number of lawsuits continues to grow against specific manufacturers, those filing claims through their product liability attorneys are asking federal courts to combine similar cases into major class action lawsuits.

If a loved one or you have experienced adverse side effects or even death from taking any of the SGLT2 inhibitor drugs, it is important you speak to a product liability lawyer from Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P. today. Please call 713-364-0723 for a free consultation to find out your rights, the amount of monetary compensation you could be entitled to receive, and what you need to do next.



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