A J Scheen
Revue Médicale de Liège 2015, 70 (9): 472-9
Empagliflozin is a new inhibitor of sodiumglucose cotransporters type 2 (SGLT2) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Its specific action inhibits glucose reabsorption in renal tubules and thus promotes glucosuria. This effect results in a reduction in fasting and postprandial glycaemia and a decrease of glycated haemoglobin (HbA(Ic)), independently of insulin. Furthermore, calorie urinary loss promotes weight reduction and osmotic diuresis lowers arterial blood pressure. The efficacy of empagliflozin increases according to the level of hyperglycaemia but decreases in patients with renal insufficiency. In 24 to 104-week controlled trials versus placebo, empagliflozin reduces HbA(1c) (approximately 0.8%), without hypoglycaemia (except in patients already treated with insulin or sulphonylureas). This improvement in glucose control is rather similar to that observed with active comparators (metformin, glimepiride or sitagliptin), with the advantage for empagliflozin of reducing body weight (approximately 2 kg) and blood pressure (systolic approximately 4 mm Hg and diastolic approximately 2 mm Hg). Empagliflozin has shown a cardiovascular protection in the EMPA-REG OUTCOME trial. Mycotic genital infections occur more frequently, especially in women, while a negligible increase in mild urinary tract infections may be observed. The risk of hypotension and volume depletion is low, although it should be carefully checked in more fragile and at risk patients. Empagliflozin (Jardiance), which is commercialized at the doses of 10 mg and 25 mg once daily, is indicated for the treatment of T2DM and reimbursed in Belgium with conditions as add-on to a background glucose-lowering therapy.

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