The type 2 diabetes drug Forxiga (dapagliflozin) has been shown to reduce HbA1c levels in people with type 1 diabetes, according to a new study.
Forxiga is an SGLT2 inhibitor medication that is currently only prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes. In the study, which was presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), researchers wanted to see whether the drug could also benefit people with type 1 diabetes.
The findings from the Dapagliflozin Evaluation in Patient With Inadequately Controlled Type 1 Diabetes (DEPICT) phase three study showed Forxiga reduced blood sugar levels, helped with weight loss and required fewer corrective insulin doses.
The participants were adults with type 1 diabetes and HbA1c levels of 61 to 97 mmol/mol (7.7% to 11%). Participants were randomly assigned to one of the following three groups: dapagliflozin (10mg), dapagliflozin (5mg) or placebo. All participants continued to take their normal insulin regimen. HbA1c levels, body weight and daily insulin doses were measured through the 24-week study period.
The results showed that participants on dapagliflozin benefitted from an average 5 mmol/mol (0.4%) reduction in HbA1c compared with the placebo group. The difference in HbA1c improvement was very small between the two dapagliflozin doses.
Incidences of hypoglycemia and severe hypoglycemia were similar between the dapagliflozin and placebo groups.
The number of episodes of DKA were higher in the dapagliflozin groups, however, the number of incidents were five or under in each of the groups and therefore the numbers are too small to adequately assess the true risk.
The results of the study show that dapagliflozin is effective in reducing HbA1c by a modest amount and could therefore have benefits for people with less well-controlled type 1 diabetes, particularly if weight gain is an issue.
Dapagliflozin is a relatively new drug and the long-term effects are still not well-known. Clinicians will benefit from more research before they can adequately assess whether the drug is appropriate for patients with type 1 diabetes.

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