To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the efficacy, safety and tolerability of sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors vs placebo as add-on therapy after metformin and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor dual therapy in type 2 diabetes.
This systematic review was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines (PROSPERO registration number: CRD42018099398). A search was conducted in the PubMed, www.clinicaltrials.gov and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases for relevant randomized controlled trials up until 14 August 2020 that compared sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors vs placebo as add-on therapy after metformin and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor therapy. A random-effects model was used.
Six randomized controlled trials (1661 participants) met the inclusion criteria. Compared with placebo, sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitor treatment, as add-on to metformin and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor therapy, was associated with a significant reduction in HbA1c level [mean difference -8 mmol/mol, 95% CI -10, -6 (-0.7%, 95% CI -0.9, -0.6); P < 0.00001], in fasting plasma glucose level [mean difference -1.70 mmol/l, 95% CI -1.91, -1.49; P <0.00001], in weight (mean difference -1.76 kg, 95% CI -2.04, -1.48; P <0.00001) and in blood pressure (systolic blood pressure: mean difference -3.6 mmHg, 95% CI -4.8, -2.4; P<0.00001; diastolic blood pressure: mean difference -1.5 mmHg; 95% CI -2.4, -0.6; P=0.002). Genital infections (odds ratio 7.37, 95% CI 3.06, 17.76; P <0.00001) were more common with sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors, but there was no significant statistical difference in urinary tract infections (odds ratio 1.16, 95% CI 0.63, 2.13; P=0.64), in hypoglycaemia (odds ratio 1.36, 95% CI 0.61, 3.04; P = 0.45), or in discontinuation rates due to adverse events (odds ratio 1.52, 95% CI 0.78, 2.97; P=0.22) between the two groups.
In comparison with placebo, add-on therapy with a sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitor is significantly more efficacious in lowering HbA1c , fasting plasma glucose and weight in people with type 2 diabetes following inadequate glycaemic control with metformin and a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor. The rate of discontinuation due to adverse events was similar despite higher risk of genital infections.