Ketoacidosis Warning Issued for New Diabetes Meds

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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On May 15, 2015, the FDA issued a warning for the newest class of diabetes medications, SGLT2 inhibitors.

According to the FDA, the medications in this class may lead to a serious and life-threatening condition known as ketoacidosis.

Which medications are considered SGLT2 inhibitors?

These medications also contain SGLT2 inhibitors in combination with other active ingredients:

What should I do if I am taking one of these medications?

If you are taking one of the medications listed above DO NOT stop your medication without talking to your doctor.

Monitor yourself for the signs and symptoms associated with ketoacidosis and if needed, seek emergency medical attention.

What are the benefits of SGLT2 inhibitors?

Not only have SGLT2 inhibitors been shown to lower blood glucose levels, but they can also help with weight loss, a reduction of A1C levels, and to lower blood pressure–all of which can be concerns for diabetics.

What is ketoacidosis?

Ketoacidosis is a condition where there is too much acid in the blood, which can basically poison the body. These blood acids are better known as ketones.

What are the common signs and symptoms of ketoacidosis?

The common signs and symptoms of ketoacidosis may include but are not limited to the following:

Early symptoms of ketoacidosis may include thirst, dry mouth, frequent urination, high blood sugar levels, and high ketone levels in the urine.

Some other common symptoms to watch out for are difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, confusion, fatigue, and sleepiness.

What are the typical side effects of SGLT2 inhibitors alone?

Common side effects of SGLT2 inhibitors include female genital infections & urinary tract infections.

How is ketoacidosis treated?

Treatment for ketoacidosis takes place in the hospital where you may be given fluids, electrolytes, and insulin.

How can I prevent ketoacidosis?

Ketoacidosis usually be prevented with proper diabetes management. For example:

You can find more important info about the FDA warning here.

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