Non-Severe Hypoglycemia Risk Difference Between Sulfonylurea and Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter-2 Inhibitors (Sglt2-I) as an Add-On to Metformin in Randomized Controlled Trials
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BACKGROUND: Non-severe hypoglycemia reduces well-being, lowers quality of life, reduces productivity and increases treatment costs. The non-severe hypoglycemia rate, attributable to sulfonylurea (SU) utilization compared with newer classes such as SGLT2-I, could be of clinical significance. OBJECTIVES: To explore the non-severe hypoglycemia risk difference (RD) for SU use compared with SGLT2-I in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) as an add on to metformin. METHODS: A search was conducted for RCTs of SGLT2-I. PubMed database were utilized for this search. The search was limited to RCTs reported in English language for canagliflozin, dapagliflozin, and empagliflozin. SU dose comparison was utilized to convert the dose of SUs to glimepiride equivalent doses. RESULTS: Totally, 118 RCTs were reviewed; 6 articles had an arm for a SU as add on to metformin. Six articles belong to 3 RCTs, which reported results for 52 weeks and 104 weeks. Average non-severe hypoglycemia rate for SU arm was 30% (5.5%) [Mean (SD)] for 52 weeks and 35.6% (6.1%) for 104 weeks. RD for non-severe hypoglycemia events for SU compared to SGLT2-I was 26.7% (4.9%) for 52 weeks (p-value less than 0.001) and 30.6% (5.5%) for 104 weeks (p-value less than 0.001). There was a significant correlation between dose of SU and hypoglycemia rate (Pearson correlation 0.995; R-square 99%). CONCLUSIONS: This study illustrated that a large proportion of patients who had exposure to SU in RCTs of SGLT2-I experienced non-severe hypoglycemia compared to SGLT2-I. There was a close relation between SU dose and increased probability of non-severe hypoglycemia events.
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