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Metformin Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings

Metformin is also known as: Fortamet, Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Riomet, Riomet ER

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Sep 10, 2019.

Metformin Pregnancy Warnings

Animal studies do not indicate harmful effects with respect to pregnancy, embryo or fetal development, birth or postnatal development. Poorly-controlled diabetes in pregnancy increases the maternal risk for diabetic ketoacidosis, pre-eclampsia, spontaneous abortions, preterm delivery, stillbirth and delivery complications. Poorly controlled maternal diabetes increases the fetal risk for major birth defects, stillbirth, and macrosomia related morbidity. Published evidence suggests this drug has a good safety profile in women with no increased long-term effects in offspring up to 18 months; however, much of the evidence is from observational, small, and/or nonrandomized studies, and therefore data must be interpreted cautiously.

Many experts continue to recommend insulin as the drug of choice for type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes when diet alone is unsuccessful in controlling blood sugars. The estimated background risk for major birth defects in women with pre-gestational diabetes mellitus with an HbA1C greater than 7 is 6% to 10% and for women with a HbA1C greater than 10, this risk has been reported to be as high as 20% to 25%. In the US, the estimated risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively. The estimated risk of miscarriage for pregnant women with diabetes is unknown. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.

AU TGA pregnancy category C: Drugs which, owing to their pharmacological effects, have caused or may be suspected of causing, harmful effects on the human fetus or neonate without causing malformations. These effects may be reversible. Accompanying texts should be consulted for further details.

US FDA pregnancy category Not Assigned: The US FDA has amended the pregnancy labeling rule for prescription drug products to require labeling that includes a summary of risk, a discussion of the data supporting that summary, and relevant information to help health care providers make prescribing decisions and counsel women about the use of drugs during pregnancy. Pregnancy categories A, B, C, D, and X are being phased out.

Benefit should outweigh risk

AU TGA pregnancy category: C
US FDA pregnancy category: Not assigned

Risk Summary: Data are not sufficient to inform a drug-associated risk for major birth defects or miscarriage; published studies have not reported an increased risk. There are risks to the mother and fetus associated with poorly controlled diabetes in pregnancy.

Comments:
-Maternal glucose levels should be well controlled prior to conception and throughout pregnancy to avoid maternal and fetal diabetes-associated risks.
-Premenopausal women should understand the potential for unintended pregnancy with use of this drug as ovulation may occur in some anovulatory women.

See references

Metformin Breastfeeding Warnings

Benefit should outweigh risk

Excreted into human milk: Yes

Comments:
-Available data have not reported adverse effects in breastfed infants, however, this data is limited.
-Due to this limited data, product manufacturers recommend a decision should be made to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug, considering the importance of the drug to the mother.
-Published data suggest this drug is compatible with breastfeeding; they recommend caution when nursing a newborn or premature infant, and those with renal impairment.

Drug levels are expected to be 0.5% (range 0.11% to 1%) of the mother's weight-adjusted dosage and milk/plasma ratio range between 0.13 and 1. Since milk levels are expected to be relatively constant, timing of breastfeeding with drug administration is expected to be of little benefit. One large prospective study found no adverse effects in breastfed infants. Low detectable serum levels were found in some breastfed infants.

See references

References for pregnancy information

  1. "Product Information. Riomet (metFORMIN)." Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals, Jacksonville, FL.
  2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0
  3. "Product Information. Fortamet (metFORMIN)." Physicians Total Care, Tulsa, OK.
  4. Lindsay RS, Loeken MR "Metformin use in pregnancy: promises and uncertainties " Diabetologia 60 (2017): 1612-9
  5. "Product Information. Glucophage (metformin)." Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ.
  6. Kelley KW, Carroll DG, Meyer A "A review of current treatment strategies for gestational diabetes mellitus. Available from: URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4509429/" Drugs Context 4 (2015): epub
  7. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0
  8. "Product Information. Glumetza (metFORMIN)." Biovail Pharmaceuticals Canada, Mississauga, IA.

References for breastfeeding information

  1. "Product Information. Glucophage (metformin)." Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ.
  2. Kelley KW, Carroll DG, Meyer A "A review of current treatment strategies for gestational diabetes mellitus. Available from: URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4509429/" Drugs Context 4 (2015): epub
  3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0
  4. "Product Information. Glumetza (metFORMIN)." Biovail Pharmaceuticals Canada, Mississauga, IA.
  5. United States National Library of Medicine "Toxnet. Toxicology Data Network. Available from: URL: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT." ([cited 2013 -]):
  6. "Product Information. Riomet (metFORMIN)." Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals, Jacksonville, FL.
  7. "Product Information. Fortamet (metFORMIN)." Physicians Total Care, Tulsa, OK.
  8. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0
  9. Feig DS, Briggs GG, Koren G "Oral antidiabetic agents in pregnancy and lactation: a paradigm shift?" Ann Pharmacother (2007): 1174-80

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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