A meta-analysis shows that SGLT2 inhibitors have benefits on HbA1c, body weight and daily insulin dose in people with type 1 diabetes.
The meta-analysis appears to show some benefits, but the trial had a number of limitations such as small number of total participants and short duration of half of the studies reviewed. Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors work by preventing the kidneys from reabsorbing sugar back into the blood, helping to lower blood sugar levels.
So far, SGLT2 inhibitors have only been approved for use as a treatment for type 2 diabetes but not for type 1 diabetes. To date, a small number of trials have looked into the effects of the drugs on people with type 1 diabetes.
Trials can be run in different ways and across different patient groups and so one trial can have a different outcome to another one. Meta-analyses can collate the results of smaller trials and see how much benefit the drugs have across the group of trials reviewed.
The researchers from Wayne State University reviewed and analysed the effects of SGLT2 inhibitors on HbA1c, body weight, and total daily insulin dose in patients with type 1 diabetes. They also reviewed the frequency of reported adverse events. The meta-analysis included four randomized controlled trials.
The results showed that use of SGLT2 inhibitors led to statistically significant reductions in HbA1c, body weight and total daily insulin dose. No significant difference in adverse events was observed.
The meta-analysis appears to show benefits from using SGLT2 inhibitors in people with type 1 diabetes particularly if someone has less well-controlled type 1 diabetes and requires help with reducing body weight and total daily insulin dose.
The researchers note that the meta-analysis involved a relatively small number of trials and overall number of participants. Two of the studies included were very short in that they ran for less than 12 weeks.
The meta-analysis therefore indicates that there may be benefits in prescribing SGLT2 inhibitors in certain patients with type 1 diabetes, however, larger studies will be needed to confirm this and to more comprehensively monitor adverse effects of the drugs.
The study is published in the Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice journal.

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