Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors: a practical guide for the Dutch cardiologist based on real-world experience

K. Zwart, S. Velthuis, Y. V. Polyukhovych, A. Mosterd, L. Smidt, E. H. Serné, D. H. van Raalte, P. J. M. Elders, M. L. Handoko*, P. C. Oldenburg-Ligtenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors include a relatively new class of glucose-lowering drugs that reduce plasma glucose concentrations by inhibiting proximal tubular reabsorption of glucose in the kidney, while increasing its excretion in urine. Recent large randomised controlled trials have demonstrated that many of these agents reduce the occurrence of major adverse cardiovascular events, hospitalisation for heart failure, cardiovascular death and/or chronic kidney disease progression in patients with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2). Given their unique insulin-independent mode of action and favourable efficacy and adverse-event profile, SGLT2 inhibitors are promising and they offer an interesting therapeutic approach for the cardiologist to incorporate into routine practice. However, despite accumulating data supporting this class of therapy, cardiologists infrequently prescribe SGLT2 inhibitors, potentially due to a lack of familiarity with their use and the reticence to change DM medication. Here, we provide an up-to-date practical guide highlighting important elements of treatment initiation based on real-world evidence and expert opinion. We describe how to change DM medication, including insulin dosing when appropriate, and how to anticipate any adverse events based on real-world experience in patients with DM2 in the Meander Medical Centre in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. This includes a simple algorithm showing how to initiate SGLT2 inhibitor treatment safely, while considering the consequence of the glucosuric effects of these inhibitors for the individual patient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-499
Number of pages10
JournalNetherlands Heart Journal
Issue number10
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

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