Type 2 Diabetic patients who took Canagliflozin (sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor) were found to have a slower kidney function decline compared to patients who took glimepiride while lowering blood sugar levels.
According to a recent study which was published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, canagliflozin a new class of oral antidiabetic drug may help in protecting the patients' kidney in addition to lowering the blood glucose levels.
‘Canagliflozin - new oral antidiabetic drug lowers the progressive loss of kidney function in patients with type 2 diabetes when compared to glimepiride.’
Sodium glucose co transporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2) in the kidney lower the blood sugar levels by increasing the excretion of glucose in the urine. It is also found to lower blood pressure and body weight.
Hiddo Lambers Heerspink, PhD and his team investigated the clinical trial data by comparing the SGLT2 inhibitor canagliflozin with sulfonylurea drug glimepiride at the University Medical Center Groningen, Netherlands.
The analysis was done for two years on 1450 patients with type 2 diabetes who were taking metformin. They were randomly assigned to take canagliflozin 100mg,canagliflozin 300mg, or glimepiride 6-8 mg. The kidney functions were assessed by estimating the glomerular filtration rate (GFR).
Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) is a specific test that assess the functioning of the kidneys. It helps to estimate the amount of blood that passes through the glomeruli per minute.
Patients who received glimepiride, canagliflozin 100mg, canagliflozin 300mg showed a reduced HbA1c blood sugar level of 0.81%, 0.82% and 0.93% in the first year and 0.55%, 0.65% and 0.74% in the second year respectively.
When the glomerular filtration rate was assessed for all the three groups, it was found that canagliflozin 100mg, canagliflozin 300mg slowed down the progression of kidney function decline of 0.5ml/min and 0.9ml/min compared to glimepiride which was 3.3ml/min per 1.73m2 per year.
Dr.Heerspink said that since the glycemic control was only moderately differing between canagliflozin and glimepiride, results suggest that kidney protective functions are unrelated to blood sugar level. He also added that Canagliflozin may offer a new and a therapeutic hope for diabetic patients with progression of kidney function loss.
It was also noted that SGLT2 inhibitors are also capable of reducing cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke. The beneficial use of this medicine for cardiovascular and kidney functions will encourage physicians to use this drug for patients with type2 diabetes. Adverse effects, patient characteristics and alternative agents should also be taken into account.