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November 21, 2000

Family Planning, Insulin

Question from Brooklyn, New York, USA:

I am 26 years old, have had type 1 diabetes for two years, and I am planning to have a baby. I am scared because I am unsure if the use of NPH and Humalog insulin is safe during pregnancy. I am aware that different doctors feel differently about the use of Humalog. What is known about insulin and pregnancy?


NPH and Regular are the most commonly used types of insulin and are safe in pregnancy. Humalog has been available for a few years and is also used in pregnancy. However, a letter was published in the New England Journal of Medicine that reported a possible increase in fetal abnormalities in women using Humalog. This was a report of cases, not a scientific study. As far as I know, this has not been substantiated. I frequently use Humalog in my practice. If you want to minimize your risk, switch to Regular and NPH during the preconception period and first eight weeks of pregnancy.