SGLT2 inhibitors, also called gliflozins, are a class of medications that inhibit reabsorption of glucose in the kidney and therefore lower blood sugar. They act by inhibiting sodium-glucose transport protein 2 (SGLT2).
The gliflozins are used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus but are most often used as second- or third-line agents instead of first-line because there are other medications on the market that have much longer safety record and are less expensive than gliflozins. These drugs may help improve insulin resistance and obesity, but for now, they’re approved only for people with type 2 diabetes.
These are the known members of the gliflozin class:
- Canagliflozin was the first SGLT2 inhibitor to be approved for use in the United States. It was approved in March 2013 under the brand name Invokana and it was also marketed throughout the EU under the same name.
- Dapagliflozin is the first SGLT2 inhibitor approved anywhere in the world, it happened in 2011 by the EU. It was approved for use in the United States under the brand name Farxiga by the Food and Drug Administration in January 2014.
- Empagliflozin, approved in the United States in August 2014 under the brand name Jardiance by Boehringer Ingelheim. Of the gliflozins, empagliflozin and tofogliflozin have the highest specificity for SGLT2 inhibition. It is the only oral medicine for type 2 diabetes that has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death.
- Ertugliflozin was approved in the United States under the brand name Steglatro in December 2017.
- Ipragliflozin, produced by the Japanese company Astellas Pharma Inc. under the brand name Suglat, approved in Japan January 2014.
- Luseogliflozin was approved in Japan March 2014 under the brand name Lusefi and was developed by Taisho Pharmaceutical.
- Remogliflozin etabonate was commercially launched first in India by Glenmark in May 2019.
- Sergliflozin etabonate discontinued after Phase II trials.
- Sotagliflozin is a dual SGLT1/SGLT2 inhibitor in phase III trials under the brand name Zynquista. Developed by Lexicon pharmaceuticals. If approved, sotagliflozin would be the first oral treatment in combination with insulin to treat type 1 diabetes mellitus.
- Tofogliflozin was approved in Japan March 2014 under the brand names Apleway and Deberza developed by Sanofi and Kowa Pharmaceutical