Are you a Type 2 diabetic or is your loved one currently dealing with Type 2 diabetes? There’s a very recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning that you must know about: A class of drugs known as “sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors,” has caused a medical condition medically known as “Fournier’s gangrene” or “necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum,” and yes, it’s as horrible as it sounds.
This flesh-eating bacteria affects mostly males, and since 1950, there have only been a total of 1,800 reported cases of Fournier’s gangrene. It’s rare but painful and can be deadly.
In 2013, the FDA gave the green light on a class of drugs known as SGLT2 inhibitors, and the list of those approved included the following:
- Dapagliflozin (brand name Farxiga)
- Canagliflozin (brand name Invokana)
- Empagliflozin (brand name Jardiance)
- Etrugliflozin (brand name Steglatro)
But, now the FDA says these are dangerous drugs, and if you’re taking them, you must seek advice from your physician right away.
Doctors widely prescribe these drugs to Type 2 diabetics, and along with exercise and diet modifications, they have worked. Unfortunately, the success of these drugs is coming at a price. One person has died and eleven others have suffered greatly because of these dangerous medications.
This class of drug reduces a diabetic’s glucose level by allowing the kidneys to expel sugary urine out of the diabetic’s body. But the sugary urine creates an environment that bacteria thrive in, and when you add a nick from shaving or an existing skin ulcer into the mix, the result can be deadly when the flesh-eating bacteria grow.
Perfect Storm for Infection
With such a bacteria-friendly environment in which to grow, Fournier’s gangrene may occur, and the result is pain and misery. Adult men with this horrible condition may experience extreme pain, pervasive redness and pronounced swelling around the scrotum, penis and perineum. An unpleasant odor may be detected in the infected area; sufferers of necrotizing fasciitis may become anemic, dehydrated and will have a general feeling of being unwell.
According to the FDA, people who have taken one of these Type 2 Diabetes drugs should seek medical treatment immediately if they experience “tenderness, redness, or swelling of the genitals or the area from the genitals back to the rectum and have a fever above 100.4.”
While this type of flesh-eating bacteria is very rare, the FDA asserts that it has identified twelve patients who developed this genital infection after taking an SGLT2 inhibitor over a five-year period (March 2013 to May 2018). For a point of comparison, prior to this study, the FDA saw only six recorded cases in three decades in patients taking other classes of Type 2 Diabetes drugs.
This latest, very serious FDA warning cannot be ignored. If you have been harmed by a dangerous drug, you need an experienced pharmaceutical injury attorney on your side who handles these complex cases. Just because something was prescribed by a doctor does not mean it is safe, and just because a drug received FDA approval doesn’t mean it can’t hurt or kill you. You’ll need legal help through this difficult time, so please contact us and schedule a no-cost consultation today.