Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) are the most recent addition to the therapeutic options available for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and became available after the introduction of incretin-based therapies, dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs). These agents have potential advantageswith regard to theirweight loss-promoting effect, lowrisk of hypoglycemia, reduction in blood pressure, and reduction in cardiovascular events in high-risk patients (with empagliflozin). Apart from these clinically important outcomes, they may also correct core defects present in type 2 diabetes (i.e., improvement inb-cell function and insulin sensitivity). They do, however, have some adverse effects, notably, nausea with GLP-1 RAs and genital tract infections and potential for volume depletionwith SGLT2i.Whether incretin-based therapies are associatedwith an increased risk of pancreatitis is unclear. Most recently, diabetic ketoacidosis has been reportedwith SGLT2i. Therefore, a key clinical question in relation to guidelines is whether these clinical advantages, in the context of the adverse effect profile, outweigh the additional cost compared with older, more established therapies. This article reviews the therapeutic rationale for the use of these newer drugs for diabetes treatment, considers their place in current guidelines, and discusses how this may change as new data emerge about their long-term efficacy and safety from ongoing outcome trials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing