Taking the drug metformin? You may want to see if you should continue while expecting, because it could put your child at risk for obesity.
Recent research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that children who were exposed to the drug in utero may be overweight by the age of four.
Metformin is commonly prescribed to women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
Liv Guro Engen Hanem, M.D., a researcher from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, led a team that followed up on two randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled studies. The research looked at the impacts of metformin use on about 200 children.
They followed up with the children at four years old and looked at weight, height, body mass index (BMI), and head circumference—in those from moms who did and did not take the drug. The children born to women on metformin while pregnant weighed more than those born to moms who didn’t take the drug.
Hanem reports being surprised about the results because she thought the drug would have positive impacts on metabolism.
“Few studies have examined the long-term health of children born to women with PCOS who took metformin,” Hanem told ScienceDaily. “Our findings indicate more research is needed to determine its effects on children who were exposed in the womb.”
He told HelloFlo that original study results show that metformin may reduce the prevalence of late miscarriages and preterm births in women with PCOS. But they’re currently doing more research on metformin use during PCOS pregnancies, and results should be out in a few months.
“Before we have more robust data on the possible beneficial effects of metformin use during PCOS pregnancies, it should be used with caution. Any possible beneficial effects shown in future studies, should be weighed against the increased risk of offspring overweight,” he said.
Another recent study was conducted on the use of metformin and ovarian cancer. There was no link found between using metformin or statins and the incidence of ovarian cancer, according to a study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.