Cardiovascular risk reduction in individuals with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a key part of clinical management. Sodium–glucose co-transporter (SGLT2) inhibitors improve glycaemic control, reduce body weight and decrease blood pressure. In addition, the SGLT2 inhibitors empagliflozin and canagliflozin reduced the risk of composite cardiovascular events in high-risk individuals with T2DM in the EMPA-REG OUTCOME trial and the CANVAS Program, respectively. Empagliflozin also reduced cardiovascular deaths and improved renal outcomes. This class of agents should be considered in people with established cardiovascular disease, usually in combination with other glucose lowering medications, when satisfactory glycaemic control has not been achieved. The dose of insulin or sulfonylureas may need to be lowered when used with SGLT2 inhibitors, to reduce the risk of hypoglycaemia. Genitourinary infections can occur with SGLT2 inhibitors in a small proportion of people. In people with osteoporosis or prior amputation, it may be prudent to use empagliflozin rather than canagliflozin, based on the increased risk for bone fractures and amputations observed with canagliflozin in the CANVAS Program. SGLT2 inhibitors have the potential to transform the clinical care of persons with T2DM by not only improving glycaemic control but also reducing blood pressure, body weight and diabetes-related end-organ complications.
- Cardiovascular risk reduction
- Glycaemic control
- Improved renal outcomes
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus