Sodium glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors offer a novel approach to treat diabetes by reducing hyperglycaemia via increased glucosuria. This approach reduces renal glucose reabsorption in the proximal renal tubules providing an insulin-independent mechanism to lower blood glucose. The glucuretics are advanced in clinical development and dapagliflozin has received most extensive study. Once daily dapaglifolozin as monotherapy or as add-on to metformin for 12-24 weeks in type 2 diabetic patients (baseline HbA 8-9%) reduced HbA by about 0.5-1%, accompanied by weight loss (2-3 kg) and without significant risk of hypoglycaemia. Dapagliflozin has reduced insulin requirement and improved glycaemic control without weight gain in insulin-treated patients. A mild osmotic diuresis associated with glucuretic therapy may account for a small increase in haematocrit (1-2%) and reduced blood pressure (2-5 mmHg). Dehydration and altered electrolyte balance have not been encountered. Urinary tract and genital infections increased in most studies with dapagliflozin, but were typically mild - resolving with selfmedication or standard intervention. Thus glucuretics provide a novel insulin-independent approach for control of hyperglycaemia which does not incur hypoglycaemia, promotes weight loss, may reduce blood pressure and offers compatibility with other glucose-lowering agents.
- dapagliflozin diabetes