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Over 100 Cases of Ketoacidosis Tied to New Diabetes Drugs

Over 100 Cases of Ketoacidosis Tied to New Diabetes Drugs

June 15, 2015 — New diabetes drugs in the SLGT2 inhibitor class have been associated with 101 cases of diabetic ketoacidosis worldwide as of May 19, according to a warning from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

SGLT2 inhibitors work by blocking sodium-glucose cotransporter-2, which controls blood-sugar levels by helping the kidneys remove excess glucose in urine. Over half a million people have taken these medications since Invokana hit the market in March 2013, according to the EMA.

All of the cases were serious and some patients had to be hospitalized. The EMA warns:

“Although diabetic ketoacidosis is usually accompanied by high blood sugar levels, in a number of these reports blood sugar levels were only moderately increased. These uncharacteristic blood levels could delay diagnosis and treatment.”

In May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that 20 cases of ketoacidosis had been linked to SGLT2 inhibitors in their first year on the market. All of the victims were hospitalized. The FDA also noted that blood-sugar levels were not very high in some cases.

SGLT2 inhibitor diabetes drugs include:

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