Epidemiological data show an increasing diffusion of diabetes mellitus worldwide. In the diabetic subject, the risk of onset of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and its progression to the terminal stage remain high, despite current prevention and treatment measures. Although SGLT2 inhibitors have been approved as blood glucose lowering drugs, they have shown unexpected and surprising cardioprotective and nephroprotective efficacy. The multiple underlying mechanisms of action are independent and go beyond glycemic lowering. Hence, it has been speculated to extend the use of these drugs also to subjects with advanced stages of CKD, who were initially excluded because of the expected limited glucose-lowering effect. Non-diabetic patients could also benefit from the favorable effects of SGLT2 inhibitors: subjects with renal diseases with different etiologies, heart failure, high risk or full-blown cardiovascular disease. In addition, these drugs have a good safety profile, but several post-marketing adverse event have been reported. The ongoing clinical trials will provide clearer information on efficacy, strength and safety of these molecules. The purpose of this review is to analyze the available evidence and future prospects of SGLT2 inhibitors, which could be widely used in nephrology clinical practice.
Keywords: diabetes, oral hypoglycemic agents, SGLT2 inhibitors, chronic kidney disease