Metformin and glyburide, two common type 2 diabetes drugs, can effectively help with blood glucose management in women with gestational diabetes, according to new research.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, found that both drugs can be used to manage gestational diabetes, but noted that glyburide treatment was associated with several side effects. These include significant weight gain (for the mother), high birth weight, and macrosomia.
The researchers analysed 18 randomly-selected clinical trials to assess whether metformin and glyburide are safe and effective for gestational diabetes management.
They found no difference between the different drugs, both for fasting blood glucose levels and HbA1c levels. In other words, neither metformin nor glyburide was more effective than the other. Neither was there any significant difference between the oral diabetes drugs – metformin and glyburide – and insulin.
Metformin appeared to be safer than glyburide, which was associated with weight gain, higher birth weight, higher risk of neonatal hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels in the new born baby), and macrosomia (dangerously heavy birth weight).
The researchers wrote: “In conclusio, both metformin and glyburide are suitable for use in management of [gestational diabetes] because of good glycemic control.
“However, glyburide treatment is associated with increased risk of neonatal hypoglycemia, high maternal weight gain, high neonatal birth weight and macrsomia.”

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