Fournier's Gangrene Attorneys of Onder Law - National Pharmaceutical Litigation Attorneys

Fournier's Gangrene | Flesh-Eating Genital Infection

Dangerous Genital Infections from Diabetes Drugs

Drugs commonly prescribed to Type 2 diabetics have been found to cause a severe form of genital infection known as necrotizing fasciitis. Historically, this was a condition thought to affect only men, but men and women alike are developing severe genital infections as a result of taking diabetes drugs such as Invokana. A total of thirteen diabetes drugs in this class have been linked to an alarming number of cases of the genital infection commonly called Fournier’s gangrene. Lawyers handling lawsuits for diabetes drug genital infection claims believe persons and the family members of persons who have suffered from necrotizing fasciitis may be eligible for significant compensation for the pain, medical expenses, and permanent harm caused by this serious drug side effect. This page features a comprehensive look at life-threatening flesh-eating genital infections caused by diabetes drugs.

SGLT2 Inhibiting Diabetes Drugs

Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2-inhibiting diabetes drugs, referred to as SGLT2 inhibitors, are commonly prescribed to patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes as a means to control blood glucose levels. This class of diabetes drug releases excess glucose through the urine stream. While SGLT2 inhibitors are not the only medications available that lower blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetics, they are very commonly prescribed in the United States; during 2017, 1.7 million Americans filled a prescription, unknowingly putting themselves at risk for a severe and rare bacterial infection of the perineum.

Analysts at Bloomberg predict the market for this particular class of diabetes drugs will reach $7 billion by 2010. The drugmakers Boehringer Ingelheim (a subsidiary of Eli Lilly), AstraZeneca, Merck, and Janssen (a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson) are in competition dominate this prominent drug market. Thirteen of the fourteen drugs approved by the FDA in this particular class are known to cause the rare genital infection known as necrotizing fasciitis. They include:

Astra Zeneca


Farxiga, Xigduo XR, Qtern

Boehringer Ingelheim/Eli Lilly


Jardiance, Glyxambi, Synjardy, Synjardy XR

Boehringer Ingelheim/Eli Lilly


Jardiance, Glyxambi, Synjardy, Synjardy XR

Janssen / J&J


Invokana, Invokamet, Invokamet XR



Steglatro, Segluromet, Stelujan

Necrotizing Fasciitis or Fournier's Gangrene

Necrotizing fasciitis, also known as Fournier's gangrene, is a flesh-eating bacterial infection affecting the genital area that results in permanent disfigurement and life-threatening side effects. Typically very rare and affecting only males, necrotizing fasciitis is occurring at much higher rates in both men and women taking diabetes drugs. The flesh-eating genital infection starts when bacteria enter the body through a cut or break in the skin; the infection spread quickly through the nerves, blood vessels, muscles and fat of the genital area, destroying any tissues it infects.

The first signs of Fournier's gangrene are redness, swelling, and tenderness of the perineum, with a fever over 100.4. Patients taking medications on the FDA diabetes drug infection list who experience these symptoms should be treated for necrotizing fasciitis immediately. Broad spectrum antibiotics must be administered rapidly to stop the spread of the infection; most patients also require surgical debridement to remove infected tissues. One or more surgeries may result in permanent disfigurement as a result of genital infection from diabetes medications. In some cases, patients have also developed acute kidney damage, diabetic ketoacidosis, and septic shock, which may result in death.

FDA Diabetes Drug Infection Warning

On August 29, 2018, the FDA issued a diabetes drug infection warning, linking a significant number of genital infection cases to diabetes medications. The warning was the outcome of analysis of thirty years of necrotizing fasciitis incidents. Between the years 1984 and 2018, only 6 cases were documented of the flesh-eating genital infection among patients not taking diabetes drugs, and these incidents took place entirely among men. In comparison, FDA adverse event reports documented 12 cases of genital infections from diabetes drugs in just the past five years, five of which concerned female patients. This trend clearly links certain diabetes drugs to the genital infection known as Fournier’s gangrene.

As a result of the FDA diabetes dug infection warning, manufacturers of SGLT2 inhibitors were required to add a genital infection warning to their drug labels. Consumer safety advocates suggest prescribers consider alternative treatments; drugmakers contend other benefits outweigh the risk of flesh-eating genital infections from diabetes drugs.

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