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From Indiana, USA:

I have been trying to do some research on the internet in regard to the new insulin lispro (Humalog) and pregnancy. The only mention of Humalog use during pregnancy said that Humalog had not been tested during pregnancy. Do you know of any reason why its use would or would not be suggested during pregnancy?

I have been a diabetic for 18 years and have just recently began taking Humalog. Any information you could supply would be greatly appreciated.


As far as I've been able to find out, there have not yet been any human trials using lispro insulin during pregnancy, and no case reports published about any woman who was already on lispro and then became pregnant. It is my understanding from Eli Lilly that they are planning clinical trials using lispro during pregnancy.

I personally think that lispro insulin should work just fine during pregnancy. However, I have a remote, tiny, bit of concern that maybe, perhaps, the developing baby would somehow react differently if there's a totally synthetic molecule (in this case, lispro) in the mom's bloodstream; because of this kind of concern, obstetricians routinely advise pregnant women to abstain from any unnecessary medication.

Since lispro insulin is not "better" than Regular insulin, only different in its timing, I see no great reason to use it during pregnancy (or in women planning pregnancy), until there is absolutely positively completely conclusive proof that it's safe for the developing baby.

If a young woman is on lispro, and decides to plan a pregnancy soon, I'd suggest she talk to both her obstetrician and her endocrinologist about whether to discontinue lispro before the pregnancy.


Additional Comments from Dr. Lebinger:

If you and your physician do decide to use lispro [Humalog] in pregnancy even though it has not yet been approved, keep in mind that during pregnancy, the absorption of food may be much slower than when you are not pregnant. Although I am not aware of any studies in pregnancy using Humalog, if you decide to use it, I would recommend you be on the lookout to see if the Humalog works faster than the food is absorbed. Also keep in mind that during the first trimester, many women need less insulin and are prone to unexpected low blood sugars. (Insulin requirements usually increase dramatically later on in the second and third trimester).

Whatever insulin you chose to use, make sure to test frequently, be prepared for unexpected lows and stay in frequent contact with your physician.


Original posting 5 Dec 96


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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