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SGLT2 Inhibitor - Know Merits & Demerits Of It!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Neha Jain 92% (69 ratings)
MBBS, CCEDM, CCMTD
Diabetologist, Gurgaon  •  14 years experience
SGLT2 Inhibitor - Know Merits & Demerits Of It!

SGLT2 (sodium-glucose-co-transporter 2) inhibitor is an oral tablet used in conjunction with exercise and diet to improve blood glucose control in Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients.

The medication works by targeting and helping prevent sodium-glucose transport proteins from allowing glucose that has been filtered by the kidneys to be reabsorbed into your bloodstream.

Who is SGLT2 Inhibitor suitable for?

This drug is not suitable for everyone. Selection of the right patients is crucial to understand the mechanism of the medication and see improvement in the condition.

  • SGLT2 Inhibitor is given to patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus as a second-line drug in case the first line of treatment, metformin, fails to keep high blood sugar levels in check.

  • If the patient has hyperglycemia i.e. high, uncontrolled blood sugar, and a Body Mass Index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30 due to the accumulation of fat in the abdominal region (central obesity), then SGLT2 Inhibitor could be a useful medication. The drug not only works to reduce high blood glucose but also helps with weight loss. However, in patients with normal BMI, the medication does not induce weight loss.

  • SGLT2 Inhibitor may not be suitable for patients with a history of urinary tract infection. Hence, it is advisable for all patients to undergo a urine test before starting with the dosage. If the test results are normal, then only you can discuss the dosage with your doctor/healthcare provider and start taking the prescribed medications immediately.

Benefits of Taking SGLT2 Inhibitor​:

The benefits of using SGLT2 Inhibitor are as follows –

  • Helps reduce excess weight if the patient is obese. If taken in the correct dosage as prescribed, you can lose up to 5 Kgs in about three months.

  • Helps reduce Systolic blood pressure – if a diabetic is living with hypertension, SGLT2 Inhibitor can bring down systolic blood pressure.

  • As an anti-diabetic drug, SGLT2 Inhibitor works to control high blood glucose and improves glycemic control. Thus, with the help of the drug, Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients can keep their HbA1c levels at 7% or less.

Side Effects

  • One major side effect of SGLT2 Inhibitor is urinary tract infection. SGLT2 Inhibitor drug filters excess blood sugar from the body in the form of urine. Frequent urination or filtering of wastes through the urethra may lead to infections. Therefore, it is imperative that patients are informed about the mechanism of the drug and its probable side effects before taking the medication. One way to avoid urinary tract infections is to maintain good hygiene – wash and clean your private areas after urination.

  • SGLT2 Inhibitor can also cause dehydration in the patient, as a lot of fluid is drained out of the body. Patients are advised to have a glass or two of water more than what they usually drink.

SGLT2 Inhibitor is an effective oral medication for Type 2 Diabetes mellitus. Speak with your doctor and get yourself thoroughly checked before you start taking the drug.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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