Farxiga Lawsuit Filed Over Permanent Injuries From Flesh-Eating Groin Infection

AstraZeneca faces a growing number of product liability lawsuits over the side effects of Farxiga, indicating that the diabetes drug caused plaintiffs to suffer a serious and potentially life-threatening, flesh-eating infection that attacks the groin and genitals.

In a complaint (PDF) filed late last week in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Michael Bustamante indicates the drug maker knew about the association between Farxiga and the rare form of necrotizing fasciitis of the genitals, known as Fournier’s gangrene, yet withheld information from users and the medical community.

Farxiga is part of a new generation of diabetes drug from a class of medications known as sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, which also includes Jardiance, Invokana, Invokamet, Xigduo XR and others.

Did You Know?

AT&T Data Breach Impacts Millions of Customers

More than 73 million customers of AT&T may have had their names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers and other information released on the dark web due to a massive AT&T data breach. Lawsuits are being pursued to obtain financial compensation.

Learn More

In August 2018, the FDA required drug makers to add new warnings indicating Farxiga and other SGLT-2 inhibitors were linked to an increased risk of flesh-eating groin infections, which attacks the genitals and the surrounding area.

Bustamante indicates he began taking Farxiga in 2018 to help treat his Type 2 diabetes, and was left with permanent injuries that could have been prevented.

“After beginning treatment with Farxiga, and as a direct and proximate result thereof, Plaintiff required extensive medical treatment and suffered debilitating injuries, including, but not limited to, destruction of critical tissue and bodily structures, necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum and genital region, and other injuries the full extent of which are not yet realized,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiff’s injuries were preventable and resulted directly from Defendants’ failure and refusal to conduct proper safety studies, failure to properly assess and publicize alarming safety signals, suppression of information revealing serious and life-threatening risks, willful and wanton failure to provide adequate instructions and warnings, and willful misrepresentations concerning the nature and safety of Farxiga.”

An analysis of 12 Fournier’s gangrene cases led to the FDA’s safety alert in 2018, after which the agency required new label warnings be added to all drugs belonging to the class, including Invokana, Invokamet, Invokamet XR, Farxiga, Xigduo XR, Qtern, Jardiance, Glyxambi, Synjardy, Synjardy XR, Steglatro, Segluromet and Steglujan. Steglatro was the only drug not linked to a case of flesh-eating genital infection, but the agency is requiring it to carry a label warning anyway.

The agency indicated the infections developed within several months of beginning treatment with one of the drugs and all 12 patients underwent hospitalization and surgery. According to the FDA’s findings, at least one patient died, while others suffered multiple disfiguring surgeries and other complications.

Other Side Effects of Farxiga and Similar Drugs

The flesh-eating genital infection warning was just one of several adverse health risk added to Farxiga and similar drugs since they were first introduced on the market. The previous warnings included kidney failure, diabetic ketoacidosis and amputations (specifically for Invokana). The drugs did not carry warnings for any of those risks when they were first approved by the FDA.

Invokana (canagliflozin) was the first SGLT-2 inhibitor introduced to the market, which was approved in March 2013 and quickly became a blockbuster treatment. The medication works in a unique way, impacting some normal kidney functions to help remove glucose from the body through urine.

In December 2015, the FDA required Johnson & Johnson to add new diabetic ketoacidosis warnings to Invokana and similar drugs, indicating the medications increase the risk of this serious condition, which typically results in the need for emergency treatment to avoid life-threatening injury. Prior to the update, the warnings failed to alert consumers about the importance of seeking immediate medical attention if they experience symptoms like abdominal pain, fatigue, nausea, respiratory problems or vomiting.

In June 2016, the FDA required additional label warnings about the link between kidney risks and Farxiga and other drugs from its class, indicating the medications may increase the risk of acute kidney injury and other severe health problems.

Johnson & Johnson and Janssen faced several thousand other Invokana lawsuits, which allege users and the medical community were not provided adequate warnings at the time the drug was first introduced. The makers of other diabetes drugs from the same class, including Xigduo and Farxiga, have also faced similar lawsuits; though most have been filed against the makers of Invokana.

15 Comments

  • JacquelineJune 17, 2024 at 8:33 am

    I started taking Forxiga dapagliflozin in 2022 and shortly afterwards developed severe itching around the viginal area and following a referral to the hospital was diagnoised with a conditional called Lichen Sclerous and placed on various medications including steroids this has not helped. The symptoms have now spread to the area around the anus. I believ the condition is fourinere gangrene. [Show More]I started taking Forxiga dapagliflozin in 2022 and shortly afterwards developed severe itching around the viginal area and following a referral to the hospital was diagnoised with a conditional called Lichen Sclerous and placed on various medications including steroids this has not helped. The symptoms have now spread to the area around the anus. I believ the condition is fourinere gangrene. The itching is horrible, debilitating and often bleeds. I was placed on this medication for diabetes. Please help...

  • AnnaAugust 13, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Having pain in Laura back

  • BiancaMay 3, 2023 at 8:05 am

    I have taken this drug for about maybe 5 months before I got flesh eating bacteria in my grain area by the vagina and anus I am currently in the hospital it is going on 7 weeks now I have needed About 7 surgeries as of now I've had so many things happen I'm gonna be skin grafted I've need a wound bag I've been in the ICU for weeks I've needed antibiotics and literally I had a hole It is not fair t[Show More]I have taken this drug for about maybe 5 months before I got flesh eating bacteria in my grain area by the vagina and anus I am currently in the hospital it is going on 7 weeks now I have needed About 7 surgeries as of now I've had so many things happen I'm gonna be skin grafted I've need a wound bag I've been in the ICU for weeks I've needed antibiotics and literally I had a hole It is not fair to keep this drug on the market knowing that it's making people severely sick and possibly killing them I almost lost my life 3 times the 1st night I went to the hospital this is a scary thing thinking about what a drug can do to your body I have been in the hospital and I honestly I don't know how long I'll be here I started this on March 18th 2023 and it is now May 3rd 2023 I will have the skin grafting surgery on May 10th to see if they can successfully close my wound it is a tricky area due to the anus in the vagina and the way that I had to be cut I am praying for the best, They need stop prescribing these drugs there's evidence people like me when you're researching a drug that you've been prescribed you don't know exactly what side effect to look for first

  • VickiMarch 31, 2023 at 4:47 pm

    My husband was put on Farxiga for his heart problems. He was on it for about three or four months. He started having genital, redness, growing, irritation, and redness. His skin started sloughing and bloody. His testicles were enlarged. He started having bladder problems or kidney problems. He ended up with a severe infection that he was having a penile drip that was disgusting and smelly. His uri[Show More]My husband was put on Farxiga for his heart problems. He was on it for about three or four months. He started having genital, redness, growing, irritation, and redness. His skin started sloughing and bloody. His testicles were enlarged. He started having bladder problems or kidney problems. He ended up with a severe infection that he was having a penile drip that was disgusting and smelly. His urine was Coca-Cola color, he was miserable for months and kept telling the doctors that he was having these problems they put him on anabiotic didn’t work I gave him powder for his groin area. It helped but continued with the irritation discomfort and it progressively got worse. My husband eventually died in three days of hospital admission for kidney infection. He was in septic shock , which put him in cardiogenic shock. I don’t know what I can do for the loss of my husband, but my life has been turned upside down. This wasn’t supposed to happen. It should never have happened.

  • AnthonyAugust 24, 2022 at 12:13 am

    Was prescribed Farxiga.. was diagnosed with Fournier's Gangrene. Had to have multiple surgeries.

  • EugeneAugust 23, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    I want in on law suit.. My wife may die from taking the Drug. As bad as she is hurting death may give relief. Dr. Is unable to connect the Dots. She is diabetic. Her vagina and anus are going to KILL Her, eating her from inside out!

  • JoanJuly 27, 2022 at 12:03 pm

    Took Farxiga for 4 months. Went to ER they said fourinere gangrene possible in my vaginal area. Put on meds not cleared up. The itching is horrible. This is debilitating

  • CarolynMay 28, 2022 at 12:55 pm

    Started feeling a UTI one evening, was prescribed an oral antibiotic and was taken to the ER less than 24 hours later when my husband discovered i had a fever of 104. I was in the hospital for a week with urosepsis. Several antibiotics later, my doctor came in and told me if this last one didn't work that there was no other treatment. One PICC line and a few weeks of antibiotics later, the infecti[Show More]Started feeling a UTI one evening, was prescribed an oral antibiotic and was taken to the ER less than 24 hours later when my husband discovered i had a fever of 104. I was in the hospital for a week with urosepsis. Several antibiotics later, my doctor came in and told me if this last one didn't work that there was no other treatment. One PICC line and a few weeks of antibiotics later, the infection was finally gone. It lowered my blood sugar, just at price of a hospital stay and $3000/day IV antibiotics. So I guess pick your poison.

  • DonaldApril 27, 2022 at 12:35 pm

    I was on this meds in 2016 and had to be hospital due to my nuts swelling to the size of Mellon and infection. Due to the meds and would like to know that I can do because of it and now I have kendeny problems

  • ralphApril 17, 2022 at 4:25 am

    don't take this medicine,, I have had serious side effects

  • EarleanNovember 2, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    I am so sad because I just woke up one morning very very irritated and I didn’t know why I read up on the medication and now I have a life long problem besides my heart problems

  • SamOctober 21, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    Another case of Fournier's Gangrene after only a month of taking Xigduo - such a devastating, life-changing illness. These meds should be banned! The included warning is NOT adequate for warning of this problem!

  • EmilioAugust 30, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    I recently started taking farixga maybe 2 months now i woke up with itching and soreness in my groin area having difficulties urinated and not being able to pull back foreskin for it's painful and there's weird dark purple coloring on the tip i called my Dr who has yet not returned my call and now I'm reading this is one of the side affects of this drug

  • DanielJuly 26, 2021 at 12:48 pm

    I was taking Farxiga. Ended up with necrotizing faciaitis. Was in the hospital for a week. I gave a 6 inch hole in my bottom. I have a wound vac for who knows how long. I'm off work until this heals. This medication should be taken off the market.

  • JeffreyJune 5, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    I was taking Invokana at the time I had to have my penis amputated. Seen this and wondered if it was part or could have been from the drug. My dr first called it clamiddia and then Squiams cell cancer.

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Want your comments reviewed by a lawyer?

To have an attorney review your comments and contact you about a potential case, provide your contact information below. This will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

BioZorb Lawsuit Alleges Breast Tissue Marker Failed, Requiring Surgical Removal
BioZorb Lawsuit Alleges Breast Tissue Marker Failed, Requiring Surgical Removal (Posted yesterday)

A BioZorb lawsuit has been filed by several breast cancer survivors after the BioZorb implants moved out of place and failed to dissolve int he body, requiring surgical removal.

Fairness Hearing For Philips CPAP Recall Medical Monitoring Settlement Set for October
Fairness Hearing For Philips CPAP Recall Medical Monitoring Settlement Set for October (Posted yesterday)

A U.S. District Court judge has scheduled a fairness hearing for October in order to determine whether final approval should be granted to a $25 million Philips CPAP recall settlement agreement, which would pay former users $25 million to pay for future medical monitoring needs.