What are SGLT2 inhibitors drugs?

SGLT2 (sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors or gliflozin) inhibitors are a type of oral prescription drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. Along with diet and regular exercise, SGLT2 medications can be taken on their own or in combination with metformin or other medications to lower blood sugar levels.

Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 is a protein in your kidneys that reabsorbs sugar back into the body. By blocking SGLT2, the kidneys cannot reabsorb the sugar and instead allow it to be passed through your urine. In this way your blood sugar levels are lowered.

SGLT2  inhibitors can lead to weight loss and have also been proven to lower blood pressure. They are not suitable if you have type 1 diabetes, diabetic ketoacidosis, if you have kidney disease or require dialysis.

It is not clear whether sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 are safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. You should discuss with your doctor if you are planning to become pregnant or planning to breastfeed, since some drugs may harm your baby.

The best way to manage type 2 diabetes is through a healthy diet and exercise plan. It is also important to take your medication on schedule every day because failure to take it correctly could lead to serious health complications. When deciding which type of diabetes medication to prescribe, your doctor will consider your overall health and lifestyle.

Since diabetes symptoms can change and worsen over time, you should get regular tests and check-ups to allow your doctor to track your condition. Without careful monitoring, you could put your health at risk.

SGLT2 inhibitors brand names list

There are several brands of sodium/glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors and combination drugs available on the market:

  1. Invokana (canagliflozin)
  2. Farxiga (dapagliflozin)
  3. Jardiance (empagliflozin)
  4. Glyxambi (empagliflozin/linagliptin)
  5. Synjardy (empagliflozin/metformin)
  6. Xigduo XR (dapagliflozin/metformin)

Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 side effects

Most drugs have some side effects. Typically they are mild in nature and pass as your body adjusts to the medication.

The most common negative effects include

  • Urinary tract infections and discomfort (UTIs)
  • Yeast infections
  • Frequent urination
  • Kidney problems
  • Constipation
  • Cold symptoms (including nasal congestion)
  • Back pain

Serious negative effects include:

Seek emergency attention if you experience several of these symptoms, which could indicate diabetic ketoacidosis—a potentially fatal condition in which your body produces too many ketones:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sweet-smelling breath
  • Confusion

You should let your doctor know of any products you take, including over-the-counter supplements and vitamins, to make sure they are safe to take with SGLT2. Some of the following medications may interact with gliflozin inhibitors:

  • Insulin or insulin-boosting drugs
  • Diuretics
  • Rifampin, phenytoin, phenobarbital, ritonavir (Norvir)
  • Transferases (UGT) enzymes


Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.