Update review of the safety of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors for the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Curt J Carlson, Marile L Santamarina
Expert Opinion on Drug Safety 2016, 15 (10): 1401-12

INTRODUCTION: The safety profile of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors has continued to evolve with the availability of data from clinical trial programs, post-marketing pharmacovigilance and dedicated cardiovascular outcome trials.

AREAS COVERED: This article reviews the safety issues associated with the SGLT2 inhibitors canagliflozin, dapagliflozin, and empagliflozin, particularly the newer/emergent safety data related to US Food and Drug Administration statements regarding these three agents.

EXPERT OPINION: The safety profile of SGLT2 inhibitors is well defined, and the adverse event profile is largely consistent with their mechanism of action. These well-recognized events include genital mycotic infections and volume-associated adverse events. Serious safety issues detected more recently with SGLT2 inhibitor therapy, such as bone fractures, pyelonephritis, urosepsis, and ketoacidosis, have been uncommon. A robust improvement in cardiovascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) was recently demonstrated with empagliflozin. Given the glucose-lowering efficacy, low risk of hypoglycemia, and other benefits associated with SGLT2 inhibitor therapy, this class of oral glucose-lowering medication is a valuable addition to treatment options for T2DM, and may play an increasingly prominent therapeutic role as emerging data are revealed.

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