What is Farxiga®?
Farxiga® is one of a class of type II diabetes drugs called Sodium-Glucose
Costransporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors. SGLT-2 Inhibitors work by altering
the normal kidney function so that less sugar is reabsorbed into the blood
and the surplus glucose is excreted through the urine.
Farxiga® received FDA approval in January of 2014. Farxiga® was
originally developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb, but it was acquired by AstraZeneca
in the fall of 2014. By 2015 the FDA had issued a warning that Farxiga®,
and similar diabetes drugs (such as Invokana®), may cause diabetic
ketoacidosis (DKA), a condition where the body produces high levels of
blood acids that can result in serious health consequences. In 2016 the
FDA requested that Farxiga® and other SGLT-2 Inhibitors include warnings
on its labels of acute kidney injury. Additionally, there is some indication
that AstraZeneca engaged in “off-label” marketing to promote
Farxiga® as a weight-loss drug. While a doctor can recommend a drug
for “off-label” purposes, pharmaceutical companies can not
market or promote a drug for any purpose(s) other than for which it is approved.
What are the Side Effects of Farxiga®
The FDA warnings have linked Farxiga® and other SGLT-2 inhibitors to
acute kidney injury. The serious side effects linked to Farxiga® include:
• Kidney failure
• Kidney stones
• Kidney damage
• Urinary tract infections
• Acute Pancreatitis
What are the Symptoms of Ketoacidosis?
Patients using Farxiga® should be alert as to the symptoms of ketoacidosis
• Difficulty breathing
• Abdominal pain
• Unusual fatigue and or confusion
• Fruity odor on the breath
Ketoacidosis occurs when the body does not have enough insulin (glucose)
to burn for energy, and instead the body begins burning fat cells. When
the body burns fat, it releases ketones which accumulate in the blood
and urine. Ketones are an acidic waste product. High levels of blood acid
can shut down normal body functioning resulting in a diabetic coma or
sometimes death. The FDA recommends that patients should report symptoms
of ketoacidosis to their medical provider immediately and stop taking
the SGLT-2 inhibitor.
Patients who have developed ketoacidosis since beginning Type 2 Diabetes
treatment with Farxiga® may want to explore their legal options. Currently
there are a number of lawyers pursuing lawsuits against AstraZeneca, the
maker of Farxiga®, alleging that the pharmaceutical company failed
to warn users of the risks of ketoacidosis. Please contact attorney Brett
H. Oppenheimer via Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (502)242-8877
for a free consultation about your potential case.