SGLT2 Inhibitors: Benefit/Risk Balance
- Current Diabetes Reports
Author: André J. Scheen
Publisher: Springer US
Inhibitors of sodium-glucose cotransporters type 2 (SGLT2) reduce hyperglycemia by increasing urinary glucose excretion. They have been evaluated in patients with type 2 diabetes treated with diet/exercise, metformin, dual oral therapy or insulin. Three agents are available in Europe and the USA (canagliflozin, dapagliflozin, empagliflozin) and others are commercialized in Japan or in clinical development. SGLT2 inhibitors reduce glycated hemoglobin, with a minimal risk of hypoglycemia. They exert favorable effects beyond glucose control with consistent body weight, blood pressure, and serum uric acid reductions. Empagliflozin showed remarkable reductions in cardiovascular/all-cause mortality and in hospitalization for heart failure in patients with previous cardiovascular disease. Positive renal outcomes were also shown with empagliflozin. Mostly reported adverse events are genital mycotic infections, while urinary tract infections and events linked to volume depletion are rather rare. Concern about a risk of ketoacidosis and bone fractures has been recently raised, which deserves caution and further evaluation.