Multiple Diabetes Drugs Linked to Deadly Genital Gangrene

In August 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a warning for patients and healthcare professionals concerning the link between certain type 2 diabetes drugs and a rare but potentially fatal infection of the genitals and perineum called Fournier’s gangrene. The FDA is also requiring the manufacturers of those drugs to include new warnings concerning that potential link on their prescribing information and patient medication guides.

Also known as necrotizing fasciitis, Fournier’s gangrene is a life-threatening bacterial infection, and it affects both the genitals and the muscles, nerves, fat, and blood vessels of the area around the genitals called the perineum. The bacteria that causes the condition can enter the body via small cuts and breaks in the skin. Certain type 2 diabetes medications may increase the risk of developing Fournier’s gangrene.

Which Drugs Increase the Risk of Fournier’s Gangrene?

The type 2 diabetes drugs linked to an increased risk of Fournier’s gangrene belong to a class of medications called sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. They include:

The FDA identified 12 cases of Fournier’s gangrene in patients taking SGLT2 inhibitors between March 2013 and May 2018. All 12 patients—seven men and five women—required hospitalization and surgery, and some developed serious complications. One patient died as a result of the condition.

In comparison, an FDA review found only six cases of Fournier’s gangrene among all patients taking other types and classes of type 2 diabetes drugs during a 30-year period.

What Are the Symptoms and Treatment of Fournier’s Gangrene?

The symptoms of Fournier’s gangrene include:

  • Tenderness, redness, or swelling of the genitals or perineum
  • Fever exceeding 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • General feeling of being unwell

Symptoms of Fournier’s gangrene can quickly worsen after onset. Treating the condition requires immediate medical intervention, including broad-spectrum antibiotics and even surgical debridement—or the removal of unhealthy tissue—of the affected area. If you experience any of these symptoms after taking prescribed type 2 diabetes medication, please see a doctor right away.

What Compensation is Available for Victims?

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, our drug injury lawyers know that many medications on pharmacy shelves can put people like you at risk of developing severe and even life-threatening complications. And when those complications arise, we believe that you shouldn’t have to pay for your medical bills and lost wages out of your own pocket. We help drug injury victims gain compensation for economic damages incurred, as well as for their pain and suffering.

Harmed by a Type 2 Diabetes Medication? We Want to Help.

If you or someone you love developed Fournier’s gangrene after taking a type 2 diabetes medication, you need experienced and dedicated legal representation. Our lawyers know what you’re going through, and we’ll do everything in our power to maximize your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to find out how we can help you. Your initial consultation is always free.

Farxiga and Xigduo XR are trademarks of AstraZeneca. Jardiance and Glyxambi are registered trademarks of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Invokana and Invokamet are trademarks of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough isn’t associated with, sponsored by, or affiliated with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., or Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Do not stop taking a prescription medication without first consulting with your doctor. Discontinuing a prescribed medication without your doctor’s advice can result in injury or death. 

Cases may be referred to another attorney or law firm.