Drug-drug interactions with sodium-glucose cotransporters type 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, new oral glucose-lowering agents for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus

André J Scheen
Clinical Pharmacokinetics 2014, 53 (4): 295-304
Inhibitors of sodium-glucose cotransporters type 2 (SGLT2) reduce hyperglycaemia by decreasing renal glucose threshold and thereby increasing urinary glucose excretion. They are proposed as a novel approach for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus. They have proven their efficacy in reducing glycated haemoglobin, without inducing hypoglycaemia, as monotherapy or in combination with various other glucose-lowering agents, with the add-on value of promoting some weight loss and lowering arterial blood pressure. As they may be used concomitantly with many other drugs, we review the potential drug-drug interactions (DDIs) regarding the three leaders in the class (dapagliglozin, canagliflozin and empagliflozin). Most of the available studies were performed in healthy volunteers and have assessed the pharmacokinetic interferences with a single administration of the SGLT2 inhibitor. The exposure [assessed by peak plasma concentrations (Cmax) and area under the concentration-time curve (AUC)] to each SGLT2 inhibitor tested was not significantly influenced by the concomitant administration of other glucose-lowering agents or cardiovascular agents commonly used in patients with type 2 diabetes. Reciprocally, these medications did not influence the pharmacokinetic parameters of dapagliflozin, canagliflozin or empagliflozin. Some modest changes were not considered as clinically relevant. However, drugs that could specifically interfere with the metabolic pathways of SGLT2 inhibitors [rifampicin, inhibitors or inducers of uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT)] may result in significant changes in the exposure of SGLT2 inhibitors, as shown for dapagliflozin and canagliflozin. Potential DDIs in patients with type 2 diabetes receiving chronic treatment with an SGLT2 inhibitor deserve further attention, especially in individuals treated with several medications or in more fragile patients with hepatic and/or renal impairment.

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