In a nutshell
This study evaluated the risk of genital infections in patients with Type 2 diabetes (T2D) treated with SGLT2 (sodium-glucose cotransporter 2) inhibitors. This study concluded that this therapy was associated with a 3-fold higher risk of genital infections in these patients.
SGLT2 inhibitors help the kidneys remove glucose from the body through the urine. Canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga), and empagliflozin (Jardiance) are such drugs. This type of treatment has been shown to improve blood glucose control and body weight in patients with T2D. Another type of anti-diabetic medications includes DPP-4 inhibitors. Sitagliptin (Januvia), saxagliptin (Onglyza), linagliptin (Trajenta) and alogliptin (Nesina) are DPP-4 inhibitors. These agents boost insulin secretion. This lowers blood glucose levels.
SGLT2 inhibitors have been associated with a higher risk of genital infections. Whether this risk is higher in patients with T2D compared to other anti-diabetic medications in a real-life setting (outside of controlled clinical trials) remains under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study compared SGLT2 inhibitors to DPP-4 inhibitors. This study involved the records of 511,734 patients with T2D. 34.2% of patients started an SGLT2 inhibitor and 65.8% of patients started a DPP4 inhibitor.
More patients treated with SGLT2 inhibitors experienced genital infections compared to the DPP-4 inhibitor group. Overall, SGLT2 inhibitors were associated with a 2.80-fold higher risk of genital infections in female patients. In males, this risk was 2.66-fold higher than in patients treated with DPP-4 inhibitors.
SGLT2 inhibitors were especially associated with a 3.35-fold higher risk of Candida infections (yeast infection) in both female and male patients.
The bottom line
This study concluded that SGLT2 inhibitor therapy was associated with a 3-fold higher risk of genital infections in patients with T2D.
The fine print
This study was retrospective, meaning it looked back in time to analyze data.
Published By :
Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Sep 12, 2018
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