Safety and Tolerability of Empagliflozin in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: Pooled Analysis of Phase I–III Clinical Trials


We characterized the safety and tolerability of empagliflozin in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) randomized 1:1:1 to placebo, empagliflozin 10 mg, or empagliflozin 25 mg in clinical trials.


Pooled data were analyzed from patients with T2DM treated with placebo (N = 4203), epagliflozin 10 mg (N = 4221), or empagliflozin 25 mg (N = 4196) in 15 randomized phase I–III trials plus four extension studies. Adverse events (AEs) were assessed descriptively in participants who took at least one dose of study drug. AE incidence rates per 100 patient-years were calculated to adjust for differences in drug exposure between trials.


Total exposure was 7369, 7782, and 7754 patient-years in the placebo, empagliflozin 10 mg, and 25 mg groups, respectively. The incidence of any AEs, severe AEs, serious AEs, and AEs leading to discontinuation was no higher in participants treated with empagliflozin vs. placebo. Empagliflozin was not associated with an increased risk of hypoglycemia vs. placebo, except in participants on background sulfonylurea. The incidence of events consistent with urinary tract infection was similar across treatment groups (8.7–9.5/100 patient-years). Events consistent with genital infection occurred more frequently in participants treated with empagliflozin 10 and 25 mg (3.5 and 3.4/100 patient-years, respectively) than placebo (0.9/100 patient-years). The incidence of AEs consistent with volume depletion was similar across treatment groups (1.7–1.9/100 patient-years) but was higher with empagliflozin 10 mg and 25 mg vs. placebo in participants aged 75 years or older (3.2 and 3.0 vs. 2.3/100 patient-years, respectively). The rates of bone fractures, cancer events, renal AEs, venous thromboembolic events, hepatic injury, acute pancreatitis, lower limb amputations, and diabetic ketoacidosis were similar across treatment groups.


This analysis of pooled safety data based on more than 15,000 patient-years’ exposure supports a favorable benefit–risk profile of empagliflozin in patients with T2DM.


Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH.


Adverse drug event; Adverse drug reaction; Drug side effects; Hypoglycemia; Ketoacidosis; SGLT2 inhibitor

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