New research into the long-term safety of metformin in pregnancy to manage diabetes has shown the drug does not have any adverse effects on mother or child.

The study is the first of its kind to look at the longer term effects of metformin use in pregnancy, with researchers saying their findings provide “reassuring data”.

The team say that no negative effects from metformin use in pregnancy were seen in either mothers or their children for at least 11 years after childbirth.

Metformin has been extensively used for managing raised blood glucose values in pregnancy for several decades and is the only blood glucose-lowering oral medication approved for use in pregnancy.

Existing data on the effects of metformin only covers around five years following childbirth, so the research team set out to understand the longer term effects by evaluating published data.

They examined data from 10,117 children-mother pairs across seven study groups.

Comparing nine-year-old children born to mothers who took metformin during pregnancy with those whose mothers used insulin, they found the two groups were similar in terms of BMI, waist circumference, various body fat measurements, and liver fat percentage.

Their findings also showed that obesity and diabetes in mothers who took metformin during pregnancy were also similar during the follow-up period at 11 years.

The research team concluded that metformin in pregnancy is as safe as using insulin for lowering blood glucose.

Deep Dutta, Director of Endocrinology at CEDAR Superspeciality Healthcare in New Delhi, said: “Our study provides us with reassuring data on the long-term safety of metformin use in pregnancy on the children and their mothers.”

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