Does the damage from Invokana outweigh the benefits?

There is a certain amount of trust that takes place when you are prescribed medication. The prescription is sold as the cure to whatever ails you. Unfortunately, the drugs prescribed are not always what they seem to be. In the United States, our pharmaceutical companies are extremely powerful. That power enables them to influence the medical community in ways that do not necessarily benefit patients.

That certainly seems to be the case with the drug called Invokana (Canagliflozin).

The FDA warning about Invokana

In 2016, three years after its market debut, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), issued a warning about Invokana. The warning was largely influenced by a well-regarded medical trial called CANVAS (CANagliflozin cardioVascular Assessment Study) which linked the drug to serious medical complications.

The complications from Invokana may include:

  • Amputations from flesh eating infections
  • Kidney Failure or damage
  • Heart attack
  • Dehydration and fluid imbalances
  • Kidney stones
  • Stroke
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Increased Cholesterol
  • Allergic Reactions
  • Abnormal Weight Loss

As we know from the never-ending pharmaceutical commercials, many medications have a long list of side-effects. But what makes Invokana so different is the rate in which the side-effects occur. According to the CANVAS trial, leg and foot amputations occur at twice the rate for patients who have taken Invokana.

While physicians likely mean no harm in prescribing these medications, the dangers of Invokana serve as a reminder that new-to-market drugs can present serious dangers to the public. While we want to encourage medical innovation, the negative effect of a new drug should not be the burden of an innocent patient, especially when the damage can be so severe.