New Johnson and Johnson diabetes drug may pose health risks

Johnson and Johnson's new drug canagliflozin is about to be reviewed by an independent panel of experts.

But the initial results of trials come with a few concerns.

The drug, which would be used to treat type 2 diabetes, was shown to raise the levels of bad cholesterol in patients who took the medication during clinical trials.

According to reviewers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, canagliflozin might also cause bacterial growth in the urinary tract and kidney complications.

FDA rules require that diabetes drugs do not increase risk for heart attack or cause other cardiac-related problems. The independent panel is set to review the drug's safety and vote on its approval. If approved, it will be sold under the name Invokana.

What is canagliflozin?

Canagliflozin is part of a medication class called SGLT2 inhibitors, which work by preventing re-absorption of glucose in the kidneys and flushing out extra glucose through the urine, thereby lowering blood sugar.

At this point, the drug doesn't appear to be linked with renal, bladder, breast, testicular or adrenal cancers.

Source: Reuters

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