Metformin in pregnancy

Metformin In Pregnancy: Safety And Effects

Sensitive things should be taken with the utmost care so the pregnancy. Before you consume Metformin, know its safety and after effects for benefit of your health.

June 06, 2022
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Post Highlights

Metformin (Glucophage) is an insulin-sensitizing oral medication for treating type II diabetes mellitus and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It reduces blood glucose levels, improves insulin resistance, reduces the distribution of fat in the body and also helps in strengthening the endocrine system. It shows its action by decreasing the absorption of sugar in the intestine and increasing the body's response to insulin.

However, the major concern among people is regarding the use of Metformin during and after the pregnancy, as this drug crosses the placenta and is taken by the fetus. That is the reason why mothers become more vigilant and careful about what, when and how they eat during pregnancy. Women with PCOS are most likely to develop gestational diabetes (diabetes in pregnancy). Knowing that Metformin is used to lower the blood glucose level and as a first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes, the next question is often about safety during the pre-and post-conception period.

Can Women Take Metformin During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, it is very crucial to maintain optimum blood sugar levels. It reduces the risk of congenital disabilities, diabetes and other complications in your pregnancy. Metformin helps achieve these goals.

Metformin is well-tolerated and is safe to take during pregnancy for both mother and child. It is highly effective and reduces the need for insulin in most women.

In the rest of the women, the amount of insulin required by the body shall be reduced if Metformin is used.

However, it is recommended to seek advice from the healthcare professional for taking Metformin in an adequate manner during pregnancy. If you are already on Metformin before conceiving, your doctor shall advise you to continue taking Metformin during Pregnancy. Even if you were not taking Metformin prior, doctors could still prescribe Metformin during your pregnancy after studying detailed medical history.

Advantages Of Using Metformin During Pregnancy

Research shows that Metformin has a shallow teratogenic effect or risk of congenital disability, making it safe to take before and during the pregnancy.

This drug is especially used to treat diabetes and PCOS during Pregnancy. PCOS makes it difficult for a woman to conceive, as it can cause the formation of cysts on ovaries and may also prevent ovulation every month.  

Metformin improves the rate of ovulation and thereby increases the chance of getting pregnant. It also reduces the risk of developing type II diabetes and helps lose extra weight, which was gained because of PCOS.

Effect Of Metformin During And After Pregnancy

Metformin has excellent efficacy in treating diabetes in an average person or a pregnant woman. After insulin, it is a safe and reliable Metformin alternative for type II diabetes people. 

It not only helps in reducing blood sugar levels but also increases the probability of getting pregnant. If a woman is already on Metformin before conceiving, her doctor shall advise continuing to take Metformin during pregnancy.

Metformin helps regulate the blood sugar level during the pregnancy and helps reduce the extra weight gained due to PCOS. There is not any risk of congenital disabilities or other complications during pregnancy after taking Metformin.

This drug is also recommended during breastfeeding, and no complications are observed.

Metformin is the most widely prescribed medicine for type 2 diabetes and has proven beneficial in fertility outcomes in women with PCOS and obese males with reduced fertility. This drug improves the ovulation rate and decreases the incidence of cesareans. Also, it limits the number of premature births. Thus, it can be concluded that Metformin has the potential to activate the targets that result in the overall improvement of fertility.
Metformin has a shallow teratogenic effect or risk of congenital disability, making it safe to take before and during the pregnancy. One of the research states that it reduces the rate of early pregnancy loss (EPL) and preterm delivery. Thus, the doctor recommends continuous use of Metformin during the first trimester. This drug also reduces the risk of miscarriage in women suffering from PCOS during the first trimester. It shows no adverse impact on the newborn related to birth weight, head circumference or fetal growth.
Metformin is safe to administer during or after pregnancy as there is minimal risk of causing congenital disabilities. It is also safe during breastfeeding as only a small amount of drug is passed through the breast milk.

How And How Much Do You Take Metformin In Pregnancy?

Metformin is usually available in two doses, i.e. 500mg and 850mg tablets. Metformin sustained-release tablets i.e. Metformin SR is available as 500mg, 750mg and 1000mg tablets. It is also available in liquid form and as a dispersible powder.

The recommended maximum daily dose for an adult is 3000mg, given in 3 divided doses. However, during pregnancy or in case of any medical history, the doctor shall recommend the minimum initial dose with lesser side effects. This dose needs to be increased gradually as prescribed by the concerned doctor.

To minimize the side effects on the stomach, it should be taken with food. Pharmacies are now moving closer to customers; with the advent of the internet, customers can now order Metformin for Pregnancy online by avoiding hefty travel and long queues.

When Should I Stop Taking Metformin In Pregnancy?

The pregnancy period needs intensive care while having Metformin, and she can stop taking Metformin during Pregnancy only under her healthcare supervision. Stopping Metformin on its own can bring unknown complications and can cause harm to her and the fetus' life. 

Before breaking up with Metformin medication, it should be noted that the blood sugar level is under 180 mg/dL at random or after eating, whereas the fasting blood sugar level is under 130 mg/dL.

Side Effects Of Metformin In Pregnancy

The side effects and risk of Metformin are comparatively low. Some people might experience mild side effects, which may vary from individual. These include-

  • Heartburn
  • Acidity or GERD
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Tiredness

In pregnant women, these symptoms worsen the feeling of morning sickness. For this, it is advised to be on the lowest possible dose of Metformin.

In the case of an individual with poor metabolism, a severe risk of lactic acidosis is possible with Metformin. If any severe complication is observed, seek help from the medical practitioner.

Final Words From Druggist

Every pregnancy demands safety and exceptional care to have a healthy pregnancy. If you are planning to get pregnant while on Metformin, consult your healthcare provider beforehand about what they want you to do after your pregnancy is confirmed. 

Metformin has proven to be beneficial during pregnancy as it improves the rate of ovulation and increases the chances of getting pregnant. Evidence states that this drug is safe and has few side effects, which vary with the individual. In pregnant women, Metformin intensifies the feeling of morning sickness, for which the lowest initial dose of Metformin is recommended. It can be increased gradually as prescribed by the doctor. This drug can also be taken during breastfeeding as a minimal amount of drug is passed through breast milk, which rarely affects the child. However, the long-term effects of prenatal exposure to Metformin on the child remain uncertain.