Objective: Review available data on adjunctive therapies for type 1 diabetes (T1D), with a special focus on newer antihyperglycemic agents.
Methods: Published data on hypoglycemia, obesity, mortality, and goal attainment in T1D were reviewed to determine unmet therapeutic needs. PubMed databases and abstracts from recent diabetes meetings were searched using the term "type 1 diabetes" and the available and investigational sodium-glucose cotransporter (SGLT) inhibitors, glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors, and metformin.
Results: The majority of patients with T1D do not meet glycated hemoglobin (A1C) goals established by major diabetes organizations. Hypoglycemia risks and a rising incidence of obesity and metabolic syndrome featured in the T1D population limit optimal use of intensive insulin therapy. Noninsulin antihyperglycemic agents may enable T1D patients to achieve target A1C levels using lower insulin doses, which may reduce the risk of hypoglycemia. In pilot studies, the SGLT2 inhibitor dapagliflozin and the GLP-1 receptor agonist liraglutide reduced blood glucose, weight, and insulin dose in patients with T1D. Phase 2 studies with the SGLT2 inhibitor empagliflozin and the dual SGLT1 and SGLT2 inhibitor sotagliflozin, which acts in the gut and the kidney, have demonstrated reductions in A1C, weight, and glucose variability without an increased incidence of hypoglycemia.
Conclusion: Newer antihyperglycemic agents, particularly GLP-1 agonists, SGLT2 inhibitors, and dual SGLT1 and SGLT2 inhibitors, show promise as adjunctive treatment for T1D that may help patients achieve better glucose control without weight gain or increased hypoglycemia.