Glucophage is the name of a popular drug prescribed for combating type-2 diabetes. The class of drugs that it belongs to is called biguanides. The generic version of Glucophage is called Metformin.
What is Metformin?
Metformin is an orally prescribed drug that helps treat type-2 diabetes as well as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The use of Metformin in women that are trying to conceive is well documented. PCOS can be a nightmare for women that want to conceive because it throws the menstrual cycle completely off its natural cadence.
PCOS can affect ovulation and has even been associated with infertility in some cases.
How does Metformin work?
Metformin helps in increasing the response of the body to the naturally produced insulin. This decreases the amount of sugar being made by the liver as well as being absorbed back by the intestines.
Metformin during Pregnancy
Metformin helps in maintaining a stable blood sugar level. This is something that has been known to help keep the hormone levels of the body stable and reduce the chances of developing birth defects. The chances of any complications occurring during the pregnancy as a result of taking Metformin are low.
The FDA states that there is no evidence of human birth defects being caused by Metformin. In fact, there are even some studies which show that taking Metformin during the first trimester of pregnancy can help lower the chances of early miscarriage.
The final decision of whether Metformin should be taken during pregnancy is a call to be taken by your doctor.
There are some doctors that believe the benefits of a stable blood sugar, control of pre-existing type 2 diabetes, or the prevention of onset of gestational diabetes, are absolutely worth the tiny amount of risk that taking the medicine during pregnancy entails.
On the other hand, there are some doctors that will vehemently oppose the use of any medication that has not been explicitly certified as safe to be used during pregnancy.
Side effects of Metformin
One of the serious side effects of Metformin includes the development of lactic acidosis. The occurrence lactic acidosis is pretty rare and usually seen in people whose kidney function is compromised. The conditions must be taken seriously as it can be fatal in almost 50% of the people that end up developing it.
Patients that suffer from lactic acidosis may complain of feeling very weak, having muscle pain, difficulty in breathing, cramps in the body, having a cold sweat, feeling lightheaded or dizzy, and may notice their heartbeat as being irregular.
Other common and less severe side effects include diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. All of these side effects can be very serious during pregnancy and so must be monitored closely.
Most doctors do not prefer to give any medication which can be avoided during pregnancy. There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that taking metformin is harmful to the developing fetus. It also cannot be said with absolute certainty that no such effects will be discovered at a later time. The best course is to follow your doctor’s advice who would have done the risk-reward analysis before prescribing or stopping the drug.
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