If you are one of the 29 million people dealing with diabetes; if you have Type 2 Diabetes and have been prescribed a drug from the class known as “sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors,” you may be facing some serious side effects. An extremely painful side effect of these diabetes drugs that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently warned about is a condition known medically as “necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum” or “Fournier’s gangrene.”
This genital infection, though rare, is the result of a flesh-bacteria that thrives in the genital region after these diabetes drugs allow the kidneys to get rid of excess blood sugar through urine. When the sweet urine passes out of our bodies, those bacteria grow, and some diabetics develop the life-threatening condition known commonly as “genital gangrene.” And yes, it’s as horrible as it sounds. When someone has a nick from shaving or a skin ulcer, the perfect storm for these bacteria to grow fast and furiously is created.
FDA WARNS ABOUT THESE DRUGS
The drugs included in the most recent FDA warning are dapagliflozin (brand name Farxiga); Canagliflozin (brand name Invokana); Empagliflozin (brand name Jardiance); and Etrugliflozin (brand name Steglatro)
These drugs have been very popular since they were FDA approved in 2013, and doctors prescribe them to lower blood sugar in Type 2 diabetics; when combined with diet and exercise modifications, doctors note huge success with this class of drug. Unfortunately, the successful lowering of blood glucose levels has come at a high price for some unsuspecting patients.
A painful infection around the perineum, scrotum and penis may cause pain, redness and swelling in the affected region. Sufferers may also notice an unpleasant odor, crackling when the area is touched, dehydration, anemia and fever. People suffering from Fournier’s syndrome will have a general feeling of being unwell. Genital gangrene most often affects adult males, and since 1950, only 1,800 cases have been reported.
This type of flesh-eating bacteria affecting the genital and perianal areas is extremely rare; however, recently one death has been reported along with 12 seriously ill diabetics who took SGLT2 inhibitors over a period of five years from March 2013 to May 2018.
Comparatively, there have only been six cases of Fournier’s syndrome in over 30 years with patients taking other Type 2 Diabetes medications. Of the 12 patients treated in the last few years, all required surgery and some were left disfigured. As mentioned above, one died.
This serious FDA warning cannot be ignored. If you are taking Invokana, Farxiga, Jardiance or Steglatro, you may need a personal injury attorney who handles complex dangerous drug cases. Please call today to schedule a no-cost consultation so we can evaluate the facts of your case and discuss how best to proceed with a legal claim.