Currently available medications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes have limitations, and many patients do not achieve glycaemic control. Recently, a new approach has emerged using sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors that decrease glucose reabsorption in the kidneys, increasing urinary glucose excretion. These agents offer the potential to improve glycaemic control independently of insulin pathways while avoiding hypoglycaemia. Two drugs of this class, canagliflozin and dapagliflozin, have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA); another, empagliflozin, has been filed for regulatory approval and several others are in advanced development. These drugs have been shown to effectively reduce blood glucose, fasting plasma glucose and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1C) levels in phase III clinical trials when used as monotherapy and as add-on therapy to other diabetes medications, including insulin. Another advantage of the SGLT2 inhibitors over existing treatments is the improvement in cardiovascular risk factors, particularly in terms of reductions in blood pressure and body weight. SGLT2 inhibitors have been generally well tolerated. While more long-term safety data are required to elucidate the benefit-risk profile of SGLT2 inhibitors, the rationale for their use in type 2 diabetes therapy is strong.
- Canagliflozin dapagliflozin
- Sodium glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors
- Type 2 diabetes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems