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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?

Answer:

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.

OWJ