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MP: Newer diabetes drugs linked to 'flesh-eating' genital infection


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Newer diabetes drugs linked to 'flesh-eating' genital infection


Say you have type 2 diabetes and you are taking a newer class of medications to treat your disease—but one day you notice pain, redness and a foul odor in your genital area.


If this happens, new research suggests you need to see your doctor immediately, because you may be suffering from Fournier gangrene. Also known as a "flesh-eating" disease, this infection attacks your genital or anal region and can quickly kill tissue as it spreads rapidly.


Unfortunately, it has become a rare but still possible safety concern for people taking diabetes medications known as SGLT2 inhibitors, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientists.


SGLT2 inhibitors are a newer class of diabetes medications, introduced in 2013. Drugs in this class include canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga) and empagliflozin (Jardiance). 

Fournier gangrene occurred in 55 people taking these drugs between March 2013 and January 2019. For comparison, the researchers looked for cases of Fournier gangrene in people taking other diabetes medications from 1984 to 2019. They found only 19 such cases.


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I still take metformin and that seems to work. My doctor suggested some type of injectable and I said no. I am old enough not to care about living 20-30 more years. She also suggested an injectable form of a statin drug after I told her about the side effects I had from two different pill form of statins. I refuse to take those. 


I am very leery of the new drugs because I think they are produced mostly for profit and not tested enough, especially in the Trump administration which eshews science.

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Metformin has also been shown to reduce risks for certain cancers. Unfortunately it's no longer enough by itself for me. Invokana was a wonder drug for me, but my insurance stopped covering it. Now I'm on farxiga, which is in the same class.

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