This diabetes drug linked to higher risk of skin infection

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In the world of diabetes management, new medications offer hope for better control of this widespread condition.

Among these, Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors have emerged as a promising option for many. However, a recent study by the FDA has raised concerns about an unexpected risk associated with these drugs.

The focus of the study was on a severe infection called Fournier gangrene, a rare but serious condition affecting the external genitalia, perineum, and perianal region.

This alarming connection was discovered during an examination of the health risks posed by SGLT2 inhibitors compared to other diabetes medications like metformin, insulin glargine, short-acting insulin, the combination of sitagliptin and metformin, and dulaglutide.

Between March 1, 2013, and January 31, 2019, researchers identified 55 cases of Fournier gangrene in diabetic patients who were taking SGLT2 inhibitors. These patients, ranging in age from 33 to 87 years, included 39 men and 16 women.

It was noted that the infections could occur anytime from just 5 days to over 4 years after starting the medication.

These cases were particularly concerning due to the severe diabetic complications that accompanied the infections, including diabetic ketoacidosis, sepsis, and kidney injury.

In contrast, during a much longer observation period stretching from 1984 to January 31, 2019, only 19 cases of this infection were identified among users of other types of diabetes drugs. This stark difference underscores the potential risk specifically associated with SGLT2 inhibitors.

This finding is significant because it points to a newly identified risk for patients with diabetes being treated with these drugs.

The research, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine by Susan J. Bersoff-Matcha and colleagues, serves as an important warning.

It suggests that healthcare providers prescribing SGLT2 inhibitors should be vigilant for signs of Fournier gangrene, a condition that, while rare, can be life-threatening if not detected and treated early.

The study emphasizes the need for awareness among both doctors and patients about the potential risks of new diabetes treatments.

While SGLT2 inhibitors can offer significant benefits in managing diabetes, like any medication, they come with their own set of potential side effects and risks.

This balance between benefits and risks is a critical consideration in the management of diabetes, highlighting the importance of ongoing research and vigilance in the use of new therapeutic drugs.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies that not all whole grain foods could benefit people with type 2 diabetes, and green tea could help reduce death risk in type 2 diabetes.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about unhealthy plant-based diets linked to metabolic syndrome, and results showing Mediterranean diet could help reduce the diabetes risk by one third.

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