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Higher risk of rare complication with some diabetes drugs

Jun 20, 2017 | Failure to Diagnose

New York residents who have type 2 diabetes may be interested in a study that found that a new class of drugs, SGLT2 inhibitors, could raise the risk of a complication known as ketoacidosis. However, although the condition can be deadly, it is also rare, and experts say this should not deter people from taking the class of drugs. Researchers said only about 1 in 1,000 people using SGLT2 inhibitors would develop the condition.

The study, which was published June 8 in a peer-reviewed medical journal, was conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. It looked at 40,000 people who had diabetes. Patients who were on SGLT2 inhibitors had twice as much chance of developing diabetic ketoacidosis compared to those taking a class of drugs known as DPP4 inhibitors.

Because ketoacidosis is more common in people with type 1 diabetes, doctors may be less likely to look out for symptoms of it in people with type 2 diabetes. Therefore, one of the researchers pointed out that medical professionals should be aware of the effect SGLT2 inhibitors may have. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include abdominal pain, shortness of breath, vomiting and brain swelling. It may be fatal if it is not treated.

A situation that could arise with a patient who has type 2 diabetes and ketoacidosis, in which a doctor fails to make a proper diagnosis or makes a delayed diagnosis. Patients who have suffered a worsened medical condition as a result may want to meet with an attorney who has experience in medical malpractice claims to see what recourse they might have.