Metformin - A convenient alternative to insulin for Indian women with diabetes in pregnancy

Lavanya Rai, D. Meenakshi, Asha Kamath

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To compare the use of metformin with that of insulin for the treatment of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) unresponsive to diet therapy. Materials and Methods: In this prospective observational study, maternal glycemic control and perinatal outcome in diabetic pregnancies were compared between 2 obstetric units, one using insulin therapy and the other using metformin therapy. Baseline pretreatment glycemic profile was done and then repeated weekly throughout pregnancy. The outcome measures studied were glycemic control, maternal complications and perinatal outcome. Results: Sixty women with gestational and type 2 diabetes were enrolled, 30 each for metformin and insulin. Both groups were comparable with respect to age, body mass index (BMI), parity and pretreatment plasma glucose levels. Glycemic control was better with metformin after 1 week of therapy and also throughout gestation (P = 0.03-0.007). There were no major complications or perinatal deaths in this study. Mean gestational age and birth weight (2.9 ± 0.4 kg versus 3.1 ± 0.4 kg, P = 0.30) were comparable. However, there was a significant increase in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission and stay for babies born in the insulin group. The cost of treatment was tenfold higher in thethe insulin group. Conclusion: Metformin is clinically effective, cheap and a safe alternative to insulin therapy in pregnant diabetic women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-497
Number of pages7
JournalIndian Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 01-11-2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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