Journal of Diabetes Research | 2019
Long-Term Effectiveness and Safety of SGLT-2 Inhibitors in an Italian Cohort of Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Background SGLT-2 (sodium-glucose cotransporter-2) inhibitors are a novel class of oral hypoglycemic agents for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Herein, we aimed to assess the long-term effectiveness and safety of SGLT-2 inhibitors in a Southern Italy population of subjects affected by T2DM. Patients and Methods 408 diabetic patients treated with one of the three SGLT-2 inhibitors currently available in Italy (dapagliflozin, empagliflozin, and canagliflozin), either alone or in combination with other antidiabetic drugs, were retrospectively assessed at baseline, during, and after 18 months of continuous therapy. Results Treatment with SGLT-2 inhibitors resulted in a median decrease in HbA1c of 0.9%, with a percentage of decrement of 12 in relation to the baseline value, followed by a significant reduction (P < 0.001) in fasting plasma glucose. Variations in HbA1c occurred independently of the baseline clinical or biochemical characteristics. In addition, treatment with SGLT-2 inhibitors reduced body weight (P < 0.008) and decreased diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.004). With regard to safety outcomes, 66 patients out of 91 stopped SGLT-2 inhibitors during follow-up because of chronic or recurring genital infections, while the rest experienced other adverse events, such as urinary tract infections, polyuria, nausea, hypotension, dizziness, acute coronary event, worsening of glycemic control status, and rapid deterioration of renal function. Conclusion In our patients population, the glycometabolic effects of SGLT-2 inhibitors were durable and comparable to those observed in multicenter randomized controlled trials. This notwithstanding safety concerns must be raised regarding the frequent occurrence of genitourinary infections and the risk of a rapid decline of renal function in patients with evidence of volume depletion and/or receiving other medications which can adversely affect kidney function.