Use of Sodium-Glucose Co-Transporter-2-Inhibitors (SGLT2-Is) and Risk of Lower Limb Amputation

Nikki C C Werkman, Johannes T H Nielen, Joop P W van den Bergh, Niels Ejskjaer, Johan Røikjer, Nicolaas C Schaper, Bernardette Rossi, Olaf Klungel, Peter Vestergaard, Frank de Vries*, Johanna H M Driessen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Treatment with sodium-glucose co-transporter-2-inhibitors (SGLT2-Is), such as canagliflozin, has been associated with an increased risk of lower limb amputations (LLAs) in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, conflicting results have been reported for different SGLT2-Is and the underlying mechanism is unclear.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the risk of LLA and diabetic foot ulcer with SGLT2-I use compared to other anti-diabetic drugs and to explore hypovolemia as a potential underlying mechanism.

METHODS: A cohort study was conducted using data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink GOLD (2013-2019). The study population (N=51,847) consisted of T2DM patients over 18 years of age with at least one prescription of a noninsulin anti-diabetic drug. Concomitant diuretic use and the presence of signs of hypovolemia were determined to assess the potential underlying mechanism. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) for LLA in current SGLT2-I use versus current sulphonylurea (SU) use. Analyses were adjusted for life-style variables, comorbidities and concomitant drug use.

RESULTS: Current SGLT2-I use was not associated with an increased risk of LLA compared to current SU use (fully adjusted HR 0.70; 95% confidence interval 0.38-1.29). Concomitant use of diuretics and the presence of signs of hypovolemia were not associated with an increased risk of LLA.

CONCLUSION: Use of SGLT2-Is, with or without signs of hypovolemia, was not associated with an increased risk of LLA or DFU versus current SU use. Future studies powered to detect potential differences between individual SGLT2-Is are required to rule out a canagliflozin-specific effect.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Drug Safety
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Aug 2020

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