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Rev Assoc Med Bras (1992). 2017 Jul;63(7):636-641. doi: 10.1590/1806-9282.63.07.636.

Use of SGLT-2 inhibitors in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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Full Professor of Propedeutics, Centro de Estudos Superiores de Maceió, Maceió, AL, Brazil.
MSc in Health Sciences. Assistant Professor of Anatomy, Universidade Federal de Alagoas (Ufal), Maceió, AL, Brazil.
PhD in Science. Associate Professor IV of Anatomy, Ufal, and Adjunct Professor, Universidade Estadual de Ciências da Saúde de Alagoas (Uncisal), Maceió, AL, Brazil.
PhD in Health Sciences. Adjunct Professor of Basics of Surgical and Anesthetic Technique, Ufal, Maceió, AL, Brazil.



Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world, with high morbidity and mortality rates, resulting in a greatly negative socioeconomic impact. Although there are several classes of oral antidiabetic agents, most of the patients are outside the therapeutic goal range.


To review the use of SGLT-2 inhibitors in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, focusing on their favorable and unfavorable effects, as well as on cardiovascular profile.


A literature search on Pubmed database was performed using the following keywords: "SGLT-2 inhibitors," "dapagliflozin," "empagliflozin," "canagliflozin."


SGLT-2 inhibitors are a class of oral antidiabetic drugs directed to the kidney. Their mechanism of action is to reduce blood glucose by inducing glycosuria. Extra-glycemic benefits have been described, such as weight loss, decline in blood pressure and levels of triglycerides and uric acid, and they can slow the progression of kidney disease. Genitourinary infections are the main side effects. There is a low risk of hypotension and hypoglycemia. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious adverse effect, although rare. Empagliflozin has already had its cardiovascular benefit demonstrated and studies with other drugs are currently being performed.


SGLT-2 inhibitors are a new treatment option for type 2 diabetes mellitus, acting independently of insulin. They have potential benefits other than the reduction of blood glucose, but also carry a risk for adverse effects.

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