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Diabetes

Metformin side effects

08/31/2009

Question:

does metformin or any other insulin sensitizer have side effects on pregnancy and if you use insulin injections during pregnancy can you go back to metformin afterwards.

Answer:

Metformin is classified as "class B" for use during pregnancy.  This means that it is generally thought to be safe but there is not adequate testing to have a high certainty.  Many physicians will replace it with insulin during pregnancy to reduce the uncertainty about risk for the fetus.  If a woman goes into a pregnancy with diabetes and switches to insulin during the pregnancy, it is possible that after the pregnancy, the diabetes will either go back to being the same but in some cases it can get more severe.  I can't give a highly certain answer but I would say there is a substantial likelihood that the treatment used prior to pregnancy will again be sufficient after pregnancy if there is a concerted effort to get back to the pre-pregnancy weight, diet and exercise but no guarantees.

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Response by:

Robert M Cohen, MD Robert M Cohen, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati