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Updates on Link Between Flesh-Eating Genital Infection and Diabetes Drug SGLT2 Inhibitors

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2019 | Pharmaceutical Liability

A recent study investigated a potential link between a Type-2 diabetes drug and a severe and potentially fatal necrotizing fasciitis called Fournier gangrene. Here, the pharmaceutical liability attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos discuss the recent study and how SGLT2 inhibitors may potentially be linked to the development of Fournier gangrene.

The First Signs of a Link Between Fournier Gangrene and SGLT2 Inhibitors Appeared in 2013

Sodium-glucose Cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are a class of prescription diabetes medications that aid the kidneys in excreting excess glucose from the body. Types of SGLT2 inhibitors include Canagliflozin, or Invokana; Dapagliflozin, or Farxiga; and Empagliflozin, or Jardiance. The FDA has undergone an investigation concerning the potential link between SGLT2 inhibitors and the development of a serious, flesh-eating genital infection called Fournier gangrene. Fournier gangrene is fast-spreading and can destroy tissue between the genitals and posterior. It requires immediate medical attention and can result in death.

Between March 2013 and January 2019, the FDA found 55 cases of Fournier gangrene in diabetic patients being treated with SGLT2 inhibitors. The investigation found that every affected patient required surgery, with three cases resulting in death.

A New Study Follows a Warning by the FDA

As a result of the FDA investigation on the link between SGLT2 inhibitors and Fournier gangrene, a new study that was published in May 2019 in the peer-reviewed Annals of Internal Medicine further investigated the association between the prescription diabetes drug and genital infections. While the study was limited by a possible underreporting of incidents as well as the inability to establish causality or incidence, the study urges physicians to stay aware of the risks associated with SGLT2 inhibitors and remain suspicious of the possible adverse effects of the drug.

Contact a Medical Professional Immediately if You Experience Symptoms

If you are a Type-2 diabetic taking prescription SGLT2 inhibitors, contact your healthcare professional immediately if you experience symptoms of Fournier gangrene including fever, pain and swelling near the genitals, anemia and dehydration. While rare, Fournier gangrene is extremely serious and life-threatening; do not hesitate to seek medical attention if you notice signs and symptoms of this dangerous form of necrotizing fasciitis.

Consult a Pharmaceutical Liability Attorney at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos

Fournier gangrene is a serious and understated disease that has an unsettling link to the commonly described diabetes drugs known as SGLT2 inhibitors. No diabetes patient seeking qualified medical help should have to worry that their medication may cause a life-threatening and painful disease like Fournier gangrene, and medical professionals should be taking extreme caution when prescribing medications with the potential for such critical adverse effects. If you or a loved one suffered from Fournier gangrene or other genital infection after taking prescription SGLT2 inhibitors to treat diabetes, do not hesitate to consult one of our trusted pharmaceutical liability attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos today.