Dapagliflozin was the first drug in a class of therapies that took a new approach to glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D). It is an inhibitor of the sodium glucose cotransporter, resident in the proximal nephron, which is responsible for the recovery of filtered glucose back into circulation. Inhibiting this cotransporter reduces glucose recovery, increases glucose excretion, and reduces hyperglycemia. Here, we review some of the literature relating to the action, efficacy, and clinical use of dapagliflozin.
A Medline search was conducted within date, animal, and language limits, and relevant papers were selected for review. Conference proceedings were reviewed to obtain up-to-date literature on this drug. Clinical trial websites were reviewed for ongoing studies.
On average, treatment with dapagliflozin results in improvement in glycated hemoglobin by 0.50%, fasting plasma glucose by 1 mmol/L, weight by 2 kg, body mass index by 1.1%, and systolic/diastolic blood pressure by 4/2 mmHg over 24–52 weeks. The weight benefit is greater when used in association with sulfonylureas. It is generally well tolerated, but comes with an increased risk of genitourinary and urinary tract infections. In addition, it is associated with reversible changes to renal function that need to be explored. Early reports of an association with cancer also need to be carefully monitored.
Dapagliflozin is a useful therapy for adult patients with T2D. It also holds potential for a broader range of patients with T2D (such as the elderly and pediatric populations), as well as those with other forms of diabetes, such as type 1 diabetes. While longer-term outcome studies of safety and efficacy are awaited, dapagliflozin forms a very useful and welcome addition to our armamentarium for managing patients with T2D.