Aims: To explore the effects of intermittent use of empagliflozin, a sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitor, on dietary self-management and glycaemic control in patients with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes. Materials and methods: We conducted a prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded-endpoint, parallel-group, comparative clinical trial of 50 patients with type 2 diabetes, treated with no more than three oral antidiabetic drugs (glycated haemoglobin [HbA1c] ≥52 mmol/mol but <86 mmol/mol). The participants were randomized to take 10 mg/d empagliflozin either every day (regular group, n = 25) or on the day on which they considered they had overeaten (intermittent group, n = 25) for 24 weeks. We limited empagliflozin prescription to half of the required period in the intermittent group. The primary endpoint was change in HbA1c at the end of the 24-week treatment period relative to baseline. The secondary outcomes included changes in body weight, daily energy intake and diabetes treatment-related quality of life (QoL). Energy intake was assessed using a diet-specific validated questionnaire rather than actual assessments of food intake. Results: The intake rate of empagliflozin was 96.7 ± 7.2% for the regular group and 45.7 ± 7.0% for the intermittent group. Interestingly, ΔHbA1c was identical in the two groups (−0.64 ± 0.19% and − 0.65 ± 0.17%, respectively). Body weight decreased (−2.72 ± 0.52 and − 1.50 ± 0.45 kg, respectively) and diabetes treatment-related QoL increased significantly from baseline in both groups. Energy intake, however, decreased significantly only in the intermittent group (−221.0 ± 108.3 kcal/d). Conclusions: Intermittent empagliflozin supplementation is a useful therapeutic option that empowers dietary self-management, improves glycaemic control and is accompanied by body weight loss and an increase in diabetes treatment-related QoL in patients with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes.
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