Home Urology / Nephrology SGLT-2 Inhibitors Do Not Increase Risk for UTI in Type 2 Diabetes

SGLT-2 Inhibitors Do Not Increase Risk for UTI in Type 2 Diabetes


Patients with type 2 diabetes starting treatment with sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors have no greater risk for urinary tract infection (UTI) than those initiating other second-line antidiabetic medications, according to new study results published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Using 2 large commercial insurance databases (IBM
MarketScan and Optum Clinformatics Data Mart), Chintan Dave, PharmD, PhD, of Brigham
and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the association between
3 classes of antidiabetics drugs—SGLT-2 inhibitors, dipeptidyl peptidase-4
(DPP-4) inhibitors, and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1) agonists—and
UTI risk.

Cohort 1 comprised 123,752 propensity-score-matched patients
initiating an SGLT-2 inhibitor (canagliflozin, dapagliflozin, or empagliflozin)
or a DPP-4 inhibitor (sitagliptin, saxagliptin, linagliptin, or alogliptin). Cohort
2 included 111,978 matched patients initiating an SGLT-2 inhibitor or a GLP-1
agonist (albiglutide, dulaglutide, exenatide, or liraglutide).

In cohort 1, severe UTI occurred in 61 SGLT-2
inhibitor users (1.76 per 1000 person-years) vs 57 DPP-4 inhibitor users (1.77 per
1000 person-years) – a nominal difference. Likewise, in cohort 2, severe UTI
developed in 73 SGLT-2 inhibitor users (2.15 per 1000 person-years) vs 87 GLP-1
agonist users (2.96 per 1000 person-years).

The investigators defined severe UTI as
hospitalization for primary UTI, sepsis with UTI, or pyelonephritis. Despite
previous concerns over dapagliflozin, molecule-specific analyses showed no
differences between canagliflozin and dapagliflozin compared with DPP-4
inhibitors or GLP-1 receptor agonists. They found no differences by age, sex,
or frailty. SGLT-2 inhibitors also did not increase risk for outpatient UTIs.

In 2015, the FDA revised SGLT-2 inhibitor labels to
include a warning about serious UTIs based on 19 adverse reports. But several
subsequent studies have found no increased risks.

“In this large population-based cohort study of
patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, SGLT-2 inhibitor use was not associated
with an increase in risk for serious—or nonserious—UTIs,” Dr Dave and his
collaborators wrote. The investigators suggested future studies in specific
populations, such as older adults who may be particularly susceptible to severe
UTI. Patients with renal insufficiency, high risk for UTI, or history of UTI, were
excluded from this study and also warrant further research. In addition, these study
results were limited to patients with employer-based insurance.

In an accompanying editorial, Kristian B. Filion, PhD,
and Oriana H. Yu, MD, MSc, of McGill University and Lady Davis Institute of the
Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, cited the study as a key addition to the
literature: “Ultimately, although some uncertainty remains, the study by Dave
and colleagues provides encouraging evidence of the real-world safety of SGLT-2
inhibitors, allowing patients to benefit from their use with greater confidence
in their safety with respect to severe UTI.”


Dave CV, Schneeweiss S, Kim D, et al. Sodium–glucose
cotransporter-2 inhibitors and the risk for severe urinary tract infections: A population-based
cohort study. Ann Intern Med. doi:10.7326/M18-3136

Filion KB and Yu OH. Sodium–glucose cotransporter-2
inhibitors and severe urinary tract infections: Reassuring real-world evidence.
Ann Intern Med. doi:10.7326/M19-1950

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.