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SGLT-2 Inhibitors: Newer Type 2 Diabetes Drugs Prevent Heart Failure

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  • Diabetes patients may have an increased risk for heart failure.
  • Drugs used for diabetes may increase the combined risk of hospitalization due to heart failure or may also result in death.
  • Newer type of diabetes drug called SGLT-2 (Sodium glucose co-transporter 2) inhibitors was found to show heart protective quality.

SGLT-2 Inhibitors: Newer Type 2 Diabetes Drugs Prevent Heart Failure

A newer type of diabetes drugs called SGLT-2 (Sodium glucose co-transporter 2) inhibitors was found to significantly reduce the risk of death and hospitalization for heart failure patients when compared to other medications that are being used for diabetes, finds a real-world study by AstraZeneca.

Diabetes is found to affect more than 400 million people in the world, and around 90% of the patients have type 2 diabetes.


In a clinical trial conducted on 2015, empagliflozin drug was found to reassure that it does not cause any heart problems and could also reduce the combined risk of hospitalization for heart failure, or death that occurs due to heart failure.

The SGLT-2 inhibitor drugs include Dapagliflozin (Farxiga) from AstraZeneca, Empagliflozin (Jardiance) from Eli Lilly, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Canagliflozin (Invokana) from Johnson & Johnson.

The AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company was found to conduct a large clinical trial to study the effects of Farxiga drug on the heart, and is expected to produce the results by 2019.

However, the latest research reveals that according to the data presented by Dr. Mikhail Kosiborod at the American College of Cardiology scientific meeting in Washington, the heart's protective quality was not limited to Jardiance alone.

Kosiborod, a cardiologist from Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas city, said, "The fact that the results are remarkably consistent from country to country regardless of which compound predominates, that certainly seems to suggest that it's a class effect."

The research team also noticed that most of the Americans were found to take Invokana while Farxiga was taken mainly in Europe.

Analyzing Heart Failure Among Patients Who Received the Drugs
The research study was conducted by analyzing the data obtained from more than 300,000 patients with type 2 diabetes. The data was collected from six countries, namely Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the UK and the US.

The study findings showed SGLT-2 inhibitor drugs to be capable of slashing the combined risk of hospitalization for heart failure and death, that can occur due to any cause by 46%

The trial findings found that the rate of hospitalizations for heart-related complications dropped down to 39% in patients who took SGLT-2 drugs, when compared to other diabetic medications.

All the analyzed data was obtained from real-world sources which may include medical records, claims database, and national registers.

Most of the patients were found to take Farxiga or Invokana and only less than 10% of them took Jardiance. Medications like metformin, DPP-4 inhibitors were used as control medications in diabetes treatment.

Heart disease is the number one killer in people who have diabetes and the revelation that almost majority of the patients had no history of heart disease while using SGLT-2 inhibitors, may be useful for diabetes patients.

Kosiborod, said, "This class has a real potential of improving patient outcomes."

SGLT-2 Inhibitors
Sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors are prescription drugs that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in type 2 diabetes treatment.

SGLT-2 Inhibitor drugs include
  • Canagliflozin
  • Dapagliflozin
  • Empagliflozin
These drugs mainly act by removing the excess glucose from the kidneys.

  1. Sodium-glucose Cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) Inhibitors - (https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/postmarketdrugsafetyinformationforpatientsandproviders/ucm446852.htm)

Source: Medindia

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