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Systematic review of SGLT2 receptor inhibitors in dual or triple therapy in type 2 diabetes.

BACKGROUND: Despite the number of medications for type 2 diabetes, many people with the condition do not achieve good glycaemic control. Some existing glucose-lowering agents have adverse effects such as weight gain or hypoglycaemia. Type 2 diabetes tends to be a progressive disease, and most patients require treatment with combinations of glucose-lowering agents. The sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) receptor inhibitors are a new class of glucose-lowering agents.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the clinical effectiveness and safety of the SGLT2 receptor inhibitors in dual or triple therapy in type 2 diabetes.

DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Library (all sections); Science Citation Index; trial registries; conference abstracts; drug regulatory authorities; bibliographies of retrieved papers.

INCLUSION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials of SGLT2 receptor inhibitors compared with placebo or active comparator in type 2 diabetes in dual or combination therapy.

METHODS: Systematic review. Quality assessment used the Cochrane risk of bias score.

RESULTS: Seven trials, published in full, assessed dapagliflozin and one assessed canagliflozin. Trial quality appeared good. Dapagliflozin 10 mg reduced HbA1c by -0.54% (weighted mean differences (WMD), 95% CI -0.67 to -0.40) compared to placebo, but there was no difference compared to glipizide. Canagliflozin reduced HbA1c slightly more than sitagliptin (up to -0.21% vs sitagliptin). Both dapagliflozin and canagliflozin led to weight loss (dapagliflozin WMD -1.81 kg (95% CI -2.04 to -1.57), canagliflozin up to -2.3 kg compared to placebo).

LIMITATIONS: Long-term trial extensions suggested that effects were maintained over time. Data on canagliflozin are currently available from only one paper. Costs of the drugs are not known so cost-effectiveness cannot be assessed. More data on safety are needed, with the Food and Drug Administration having concerns about breast and bladder cancers.

CONCLUSIONS: Dapagliflozin appears effective in reducing HbA1c and weight in type 2 diabetes, although more safety data are needed.

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