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The Science Behind Fournier’s Gangrene and Prescription Drugs

Several pharmaceutical drugs designed to treat type 2 diabetics have been linked to the development of a genital gangrene called Fournier’s gangrene. It is also known as necrotizing fasciitis and is caused by a life-threatening bacterial infection. Usually, the bacterial infection enters through a cut or scape and quickly invades the muscles, nerves, fat, and blood vessels of the genitals and perineum.

Fournier’s gangrene presents symptoms of tenderness, redness, or swelling of the infected area. The patient can exhibit a fever exceeding 100.4 degrees, and the affected tissue has a foul odor. Treatment typically includes using broad-spectrum antibiotics and surgical debridement or amputations to remove the unhealthy tissue. Most frequently, Fournier’s gangrene occurs in males. However, there are some documented occurrences in females.

 Medications linked to Fournier’s Gangrene, used for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetics include:

  • Farxiga(dapaglifloxin)
  • Xigduo XR(dapagliflozin and metformin ER)
  • Jardiance(empagliflozin)
  • Glyxambi(empagliflozin and linagliptin)
  • Invokana(canagliflozin and metformin)
  • Invokamet(canagliflozin and metformin)
  • Steglatro(ertugliglozin)
  • Synjardy(empagliflozin and metformin)

The Science behind these Dangerous Drugs

The common ingredient in these Type 2 diabetic medications is SGLT2 (sodium-glucose cotransporter-2) inhibitor, a class of oral anti-hyperglycemic agents. SGLT2 inhibitors have a unique mechanism of action by halting the reabsorption of glucose in the kidneys, thereby reducing blood glucose. Instead, the sugar is excreted through the kidneys and urine.

In addition to Fournier’s gangrene, other adverse events linked to SGLT2 inhibitors are genital yeast infections, flu-like symptoms, kidney injuries, blood infections, amputations, heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, ketoacidosis, and death.

FDA Approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first prescription medication, Invokana, in the SGLT2 inhibitor class of Type 2 diabetic drugs in 2013. Similar compounds were approved shortly after. Drug approval is a multi-step process, and even though a drug is FDA approved, it is not guaranteed to be safe. In many instances, approved drugs are marketed and sold to the public despite safety concerns. According to a study reported to the National Institute of Health, SGLT2 inhibitors increased genital infections up to four-fold during clinical trials.

The major pharmaceutical companies currently named in lawsuits include Johnson & Johnson, Bristol Myers Squibb, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, and AstraZeneca. It is alleged that these companies knew the drugs had severe side effects but actively marketed them, concealing the dangerous risks from patients and physicians.

The Michael Brady Lynch Firm Seeks Justice

The pharmaceutical litigation attorneys at the Michael Brady Lynch Firm believe that pharmaceutical companies need to be held accountable for the harm their drugs cause to patients. These companies must ensure the drugs they manufacture are thoroughly tested for safety and labeled with adequate safety warnings. Pharmaceutical companies should be held accountable for the physical, emotional, and financial damages of their victims.

We are Compassionate Consumer Advocates

If you or a loved one is suffering symptoms related to SGLT2 inhibitors, we urge you to seek medical attention immediately and contact the Michael Brady Lynch Firm. As a nationally recognized and dynamic team of trial lawyers, we have extensive experience in multi-district litigation claims. We are committed to holding irresponsible pharmaceutical companies accountable for their actions.

The Michael Brady Lynch Firm has secured more than $200 million in recoveries and verdicts for victims and families. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to assess your case and discuss your options. Contact our Winter Park, Florida office at 888-585-5970.

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