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Diabetes Obes Metab. 2018 Jun;20(6):1531-1534. doi: 10.1111/dom.13255. Epub 2018 Mar 12.

SGLT-2 inhibitors and the risk of lower-limb amputation: Is this a class effect?

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Univiversity Grenoble Alpes and Grenoble Alpes University Hospital, Grenoble, France.


Inhibitors of the sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT-2) are a novel class of glucose-lowering agents that show promising results. However, the use of canagliflozin has been associated with an increased risk of lower-limb amputation. Whether this risk concerns other SGLT-2 inhibitors is unclear, and our objective was to address this issue. We performed a disproportionality analysis using the WHO global database of individual case safety reports (VigiBase). Among the 8 293 886 reports available between January 2013 and December 2017, we identified 79 reports of lower-limb amputation that were associated with SGLT-2 inhibitors. Among all blood glucose lowering drugs, the proportional reporting ratio (PRR) was increased only for SGLT-2 inhibitors (5.55 [4.23, 7.29]). While we observed an expected signal for canagliflozin (7.09 [5.25, 9.57]), the PRR was also high for empagliflozin (4.96 [2.89, 8.50]) and, for toe amputations only, for dapagliflozin (2.62 [1.33, 5.14]). In conclusion, our results reveal a positive disproportionality signal for canagliflozin, and also for empagliflozin, and, for toe amputations only, for dapagliflozin. However, our analysis relies on a limited number of cases and is exposed to the biases inherent to pharmacovigilance studies. Further prospective data are therefore needed to better characterize the risk of amputations with different SGLT-2 inhibitors.


SGLT-2 inhibitor; amputation; type 2 diabetes

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