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Farxiga Reduces Risk of Heart Failure and Heart-Related Death in Type 2 Diabetes

By Emma Ryan and Peter Rentzepis

Heart benefits of the SGLT-2 inhibitor pill beyond blood sugars and weight loss for people with type 2 diabetes

New results from the DECLARE trial show that AstraZeneca’s Farxiga, an SGLT-2 inhibitor, protects against heart failure and heart-related death. The once-daily pill, approved in the US and Europe for people with type 2 diabetes, is currently used to lower blood sugar and also comes with weight loss and blood pressure benefits. Full results will be reported in November at the American Heart Association conference – this piece will be updated then with numerical results from the study’s 17,160 participants and 4.5 years of follow-up.

This is the first SGLT-2 inhibitor to clearly demonstrate heart failure benefit. Invokana and Jardiance, two other SGLT-2 inhibitors, have been shown to reduce risk for heart-related death, heart attacks, and stroke in people with established heart disease. While often confused with heart attacks, heart failure is actually a chronic condition where the heart is unable to adequately pump blood – read our deep dive on heart failure here.

AstraZeneca plans to submit this data to the FDA so that Farxiga can be officially “indicated,” or approved, for heart failure benefits. It’s interesting that the trial suggests that Farxiga actually protects against heart disease. Two other SGLT-2 inhibitors with heart-related indications, Jardiance and Invokana, are only proven to benefit people with established heart disease. Jardiance has an indication in the US and Europe for reducing heart-related death, and Invokana has one in Europe.

People with diabetes are 2-2.5 times more likely to develop heart failure than people without diabetes. Though no safety data from DECLARE has been released yet (there have been concerns about amputation risk with SGLT-2 inhibitors), AstraZeneca stated that the study has confirmed the drug’s already-established safety.

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