Inhibition of sodium glucose cotransporter 2 with empagliflozin results in caloric loss by increasing urinary glucose excretion and has a mild diuretic effect. Diuretic effects are usually associated with reflex-mediated increases in sympathetic tone, whereas caloric loss is associated with decreased sympathetic tone. In an open-label trial, muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) (burst frequency, burst incidence, and total MSNA) was assessed using microneurography performed off-treatment and on day 4 of treatment with empagliflozin 25 mg once daily in 22 metformin-treated patients with type II diabetes (mean [range] age 54 [40-65] years). Systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP), heart rate, urine volume, and body weight were assessed before and on day 4 (BP, heart rate), day 5 (urine volume), or day 6 (body weight) of treatment with empagliflozin. After 4 days of treatment with empagliflozin, no significant changes in MSNA were apparent despite a numerical increase in urine volume, numerical reductions in BP, and significant weight loss. There were no clinically relevant changes in heart rate. Empagliflozin is not associated with clinically relevant reflex-mediated sympathetic activation in contrast to increases observed with diuretics in other studies. Our study suggests a novel mechanism through which sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibition affects human autonomic cardiovascular regulation.
Keywords: Blood pressure; body weight; heart rate; sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibition; urine volume.
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