Sodium-glucose co-transporters (SGLT2) are mainly expressed in the kidneys and are responsible for the renal handling of
glucose load. SGLT2 inhibitors represent the latest oral agents for diabetes treatment. Their unique mechanism of action, which practically
spares the insulin secretion or insulin utilization, differentiates the SGLT2 inhibitors from any existing antidiabetic agent. Thus, it is
hypothesized that SGLT2 inhibitors can be effectively (and probably safely) combined with any existing antidiabetic agent (including insulin),
either as monotherapy, or in dual or triple combinations. All these hypotheses are currently tested in many clinical trials. Currently
dapagliflozin, one of the three most advanced SGLT2 inhibitors in the development (along with canagliflozin and empagliflozin), is already
in the market in few European countries and canagliflozin has been approved from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in
US. The evidence so far shows that SGLT2 inhibitors are equally effective to established antidiabetic agents such as metformin or sulfonylureas
in their ability to lower HbA1c. On the other hand, SGLT2 inhibitors increase the possibility of genitourinary infections in
type 2 diabetic individuals. Their potency in different populations and with different background therapy, but more importantly their
short and long term safety remains to be seen.
Keywords: Dapagliflozin, canagliflozin, empagliflozin, sodium glucose co-transporter, SGLT2, diabetes.
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