Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors with insulin in type 2 diabetes: Clinical perspectives

Mathew John, Deepa Gopinath, Rejitha Jagesh
Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism 2016, 20 (1): 22-31
The treatment of type 2 diabetes is a challenging problem. Most subjects with type 2 diabetes have progression of beta cell failure necessitating the addition of multiple antidiabetic agents and eventually use of insulin. Intensification of insulin leads to weight gain and increased risk of hypoglycemia. Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are a class of antihyperglycemic agents which act by blocking the SGLT2 in the proximal tubule of the kidney. They have potential benefits in terms of weight loss and reduction of blood pressure in addition to improvements in glycemic control. Further, one of the SGLT2 inhibitors, empagliflozin has proven benefits in reducing adverse cardiovascular (CV) outcomes in a CV outcome trial. Adding SGLT2 inhibitors to insulin in subjects with type 2 diabetes produced favorable effects on glycemic control without the weight gain and hypoglycemic risks associated with insulin therapy. The general risks of increased genital mycotic infections, urinary tract infections, volume, and osmosis-related adverse effects in these subjects were similar to the pooled data of individual SGLT2 inhibitors. There are subsets of subjects with type 2 diabetes who may have insulin deficiency, beta cell autoimmunity, or is prone to diabetic ketoacidosis. In these subjects, SGLT2 inhibitors should be used with caution to prevent the rare risks of ketoacidosis.


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