A common diabetes drug can be used as an option for treating certain people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in adults, claims a study published in the journal Lancet.
Dapagliflozin belongs to a group of medicines called 'sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors.
An SGLT2 inhibitor works by blocking the SGLT2 protein in the kidneys. Blocking this protein alleviates kidney damage by reducing pressure and inflammation in the kidneys. It also helps to stop the protein from leaking into the urine and reduces blood pressure and body weight.
A clinical trial of 4,304 participants with CKD revealed that dapagliflozin reduces the rate of kidney function decline in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).
The participants were divided into two groups: With dapagliflozin, 10 mg or placebo once daily, added to standard care. Although participants without diabetes also experienced a slower rate of kidney function decline with dapagliflozin, the effect of dapagliflozin was greater in those with diabetes.
"The key conclusion is that dapagliflozin is an effective treatment to slow progressive kidney function loss in patients with CKD with and without type 2 diabetes," said lead author Hiddo Lambers Heerspink, from the University Medical Center Groningen.
"Therefore, in addition to reducing the risk of heart failure or mortality, dapagliflozin also slows the progression of kidney function decline," Heerspink added. The findings will also be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2021 November 4-November 7.
CKD common in older people
CKD is a long-term condition in which the kidneys do not work as they should. It is common, especially in older people. In the early stages, there are usually few symptoms and people can have the condition without knowing it.
CKD is often caused by other conditions that affect the kidneys. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and kidney infections. Making healthy lifestyle choices and controlling underlying conditions are important. CKD can get worse over time, but treatments can stop or delay this, and many people live for a long time with their condition well-controlled.
Adding dapagliflozin to current standard care has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of having declining kidney function, end-stage kidney disease, or dying from causes related to the kidneys or cardiovascular system.