FDA Pulls Amputation Boxed Warning Off Canagliflozin Label

Megan Brooks


August 26, 2020

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has removed the boxed warning about the risk of leg and foot amputations for canagliflozin (Invokana, Invokamet, Janssen), a sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitor for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, the agency announced today.

As previously reported by Medscape Medical News, the FDA added the boxed warning to the canagliflozin label in May 2017, after an approximately doubled risk for lower-extremity amputations with the drug compared with placebo was seen during two trials.

The FDA said the decision to remove the boxed warning was made following a review of new data from three clinical trials, which demonstrated additional heart- and kidney-related benefits and led to additional approved uses for canagliflozin.

In 2018, canagliflozin was approved to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events in adults with type 2 diabetes who have established cardiovascular disease.

In 2019, canagliflozin was approved to reduce the risk of end-stage kidney disease, worsening of kidney function, cardiovascular death, and heart failure hospitalization, in adults with type 2 diabetes and diabetic kidney disease.

"Collectively, these newly identified effects of canagliflozin on heart and kidney disease show significantly enhanced benefit of this medicine," the FDA said.

The safety information from these trials, the FDA said, suggests that the risk of amputation, "while still increased with canagliflozin, is lower than previously described, particularly when appropriately monitored."

"Based upon these considerations, FDA concluded that the boxed warning should be removed," the FDA said.

The FDA announcement said clinicians and patients should continue to be aware of the importance of preventive foot care and to monitor for new pain, tenderness, sores, ulcers, and infections in the legs and feet. Risk factors that may predispose patients to amputation should be considered when choosing antidiabetic medicines.

Healthcare professionals are encouraged to report adverse reactions with canagliflozin to the FDA's MedWatch program.

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