Diabetes Drugs but No Diabetes

October 26, 2020

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Anchor lead: If you have heart failure but not diabetes, should you consider a diabetes drug? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Medications for diabetes known as SGLT2 inhibitors have been shown to reduce hospitalization and death for people with one type of heart failure, even if they don’t have diabetes. Rita Kalyani, a diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, says this is great news but comes with cautions about this class of medicines, especially for the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.

Kalyani: They do have quite significant and quite good magnitude reduction in heart failure hospitalization. There’s great evidence now to suggest their benefit in this population. We do have to be worried about hypoglycemia. These are not a class of agents that have high risk of hypoglycemia, we don’t think about it as a major complication but it can occur, and so I think we need to better understand how do we monitor the risk of hypoglycemia in these patients that are using them when they don’t have diabetes?  :30

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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