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May 4, 2001

Family Planning

Question from London, the United Kingdom:

I a 31 year old who has had type 2 diabetes for almost two years, and I have discovered I am pregnant (unplanned) I am not overweight, and I have been taking Glucophage [metformin] and a sulfonylurea. Could these medications have been harmful to the baby?

Answer:

With the exception of glyburide, all of the oral hypoglycemic agents are not recommended during pregnancy. However, there are numerous reports of metformin use in pregnancy without a clear-cut associated pattern of abnormalities. Similar results are reported with glipizide. Both drugs cross the placenta and therefore there is some risk to the fetus, but it may not be any greater than the risk of uncontrolled diabetes. Therefore, the risk to your baby is low, and your doctor should have switched you over to insulin.

OWJ