For many with type 2 diabetes, multiple daily doses of insulin are not enough to keep their diabetes in check – and a medicine called empagliflozin, approved by the FDA in 2014, wants to help.
How does empagliflozin work?
Empagliflozin is a selective sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor. SGLT2s work to help with sugar reabsorption in the kidneys and lead to a reduction in blood glucose levels. They account for 90 percent of glucose reabsorption into the blood. Empagliflozin blocks this process and causes sugar in the blood to be absorbed by the kidneys and then eliminated via urine, helping to better achieve glycemic control. This new drug can be used either alone or as an add-on therapy with other glucose-lowering strategies.
How effective is empagliflozin?
Studies have shown empagliflozin to have a positive impact on glycemic control for type 2 diabetics. In a recent fifty-two-week trial comparing empagliflozin and a placebo drug, the patients taking empagliflozin showed a reduction in HbA1c and FPG, a significant reduction in body weight, improved glycemic control, and did not increase risk of hypoglycemia compared to daily insulin injections alone.
Empagliflozin provides a new treatment option for type 2 diabetes patients that will hopefully help to improve control of their disease. Consult with your doctor to see if an SGLT2 inhibitor would be beneficial to your condition.