A new class of type 2 diabetes drugs called SGLT2 inhibitors could increase the risk of a rare, life-threatening complication of the disease called ketoacidosis, according to a study reported by CBS News.

SGLT2 inhibitors include prescription medications such as canagliflozin, dapagliflozin and empagliflozin. Brand names are Invokana, Invokamet, Farxiga, Xigduo XR, Jardiance and Glyxambi.

These drugs first became available in 2013, but in 2015 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about an increased risk for diabetic ketoacidosis when SGLT2 inhibitors are used.

Ketoacidosis typically occurs in people with type 1 diabetes. And while it is uncommon in people with type 2 diabetes, case reports have shown it can occur with type 2 disease, according to the study authors.

It can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, shortness of breath and swelling in the brain. Left untreated, the condition can be fatal, the researchers said.

In the new study, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston analyzed data from 40,000 people with type 2 diabetes. They found that those taking SGLT2 inhibitors were twice as likely to develop diabetic ketoacidosis than those taking another class of diabetes drugs called DPP4 inhibitors (drugs such as Januvia and Onglyza).

Still, the risk to any one patient remains very slim, the researchers stressed. They estimated that among patients taking an SGLT2 inhibitor, only about 1 in every 1,000 patients would develop ketoacidosis.

The findings were published June 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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