Diabetes drug may help to prolong preterm pregnancies in women with pre-eclampsia

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Giving the drug metformin to women diagnosed with preterm pre-eclampsia may help to prolong pregnancy (gestation), finds a study published by The BMJ today.

The findings show that pregnancy was prolonged by a week in the treatment group compared with the no treatment group, but the result was not statistically significant and therefore points to the need for further study.

If confirmed by future research, this could have important benefits for both mother and baby.

Pre-eclampsia is a serious condition thought to be caused by the placenta not developing properly. Preterm (between 26-32 weeks’ gestation) often leads to early delivery, putting babies at risk of serious disability and death, particularly in low and .

Metformin is usually given to patients with diabetes to help control blood sugar levels, but preliminary studies suggest it could also be a potential treatment for pre-eclampsia.

So researchers in Australia and South Africa set out to evaluate whether extended release metformin could be used to prolong gestation in women diagnosed with preterm pre-eclampsia.

The trial took place at a large hospital in Cape Town, South Africa and involved 180 undergoing close monitoring (expectant management) for preterm pre-eclampsia.

Women were recruited between February 2018 and March 2020 when they were, on average, 29 weeks’ pregnant. None of them had diabetes or were currently using metformin or any other drugs that might interact with it.

Women were randomly split into two groups (arms): 90 received extended release metformin and 90 received placebo daily, until delivery.

The average time from randomisation to delivery was 17.7 days in the metformin arm and 10.1 days in the placebo arm, an average difference of 7.6 days. However, this difference was not statistically significant.

Two more analyses were carried out. The first (in women who continued to take metformin at any dose) showed an average 9.6 day longer gestation, and the second (in women who took the full dose of metformin) showed an average 11.5 day longer gestation. Both these results were statistically significant.

There were no differences between the two arms in terms of serious birth complications or death among both mothers and babies. And no serious adverse events were observed, although diarrhoea was more common in the metformin arm.

This is a robust and well designed trial, but the researchers acknowledge some limitations. For example, this was a single centre study where the women had a high incidence of HIV, obesity, and chronic hypertension, so the results may not be more widely applicable.

Further trials of metformin should be considered to confirm whether the drug can statistically significantly prolong gestation and to evaluate the benefits to newborns, they say. However, based on the findings of this study, “we are cautiously optimistic that extended release prolongs gestation in with preterm pre-eclampsia.”

More information: Use of metformin to prolong gestation in preterm pre-eclampsia: randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial, BMJ (2021). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.n2103 , www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n2103

Citation: Diabetes drug may help to prolong preterm pregnancies in women with pre-eclampsia (2021, September 22) retrieved 5 October 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-09-diabetes-drug-prolong-preterm-pregnancies.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Note: This article have been indexed to our site. We do not claim legitimacy, ownership or copyright of any of the content above. To see the article at original source Click Here

Related Posts
Targeting Ticks and Lyme Disease With Gene Editing thumbnail

Targeting Ticks and Lyme Disease With Gene Editing

Feb. 23, 2022 -- We hear a lot about the scourges of mosquitoes as they spread malaria, dengue fever, Zika, and other illnesses, but they're certainly not the only tiny vector out there spreading disease.Just ask anyone who's dealt with Lyme disease. Ticks have long been a major source of infectious disease, but they haven't…
Read More
Lee Jun-seok in the United States " hasty judgment" on 'President Wen's proposal for an end-of-war declaration' thumbnail

Lee Jun-seok in the United States ” hasty judgment” on 'President Wen's proposal for an end-of-war declaration'

“임기 종료를 앞두고 섣부른 정치적 행보에 대해 우려” / “너무 앞서나가지 않는 것이 중요하다고 생각한다” 이준석 국민의힘 대표가 22일(현지시간) 미국 워싱턴에서 열린 미국 전직 연방의원협회(FMC) 2021스테이트맨십 시상식에서 참석자들과 인사를 나누고 있다. 국민의힘 제공. 뉴스1 미국을 방문 중인 이준석 국민의힘 대표는 23일(현지시간) 문재인 대통령이 유엔총회 연설에서 한국전 종전선언을 제안한 데 대해 성급하고 무리한 제안이라고 비판했다. 이…
Read More
Wait, What’s a PBM? thumbnail

Wait, What’s a PBM?

Note: “An Arm and a Leg” uses speech-recognition software to generate transcripts, which may contain errors. Please use the transcript as a tool but check the corresponding audio before quoting the podcast. Dan: Hey there — You may have seen ads recently about access to drugs. Here’s one that starts with a woman trying to
Read More
Renting rather than owning a private sector home linked to faster 'biological aging' thumbnail

Renting rather than owning a private sector home linked to faster ‘biological aging’

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain Renting a private sector home, falling repeatedly into arrears, and exposure to pollution in the vicinity are linked to faster biological aging—the cumulative damage to the body's tissues and cells, irrespective of actual age—indicates research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. The biological impact of renting, as
Read More
We Need Arnold Schwarzenegger's <em>FUBAR</em> Season 2 ASAP thumbnail

We Need Arnold Schwarzenegger’s FUBAR Season 2 ASAP

The following story contains spoilers for FUBAR Season 1 on Netflix. THIS YEAR has already been a big year for spies and espionage on TV. We aren't even halfway through the 2023, and already we've seen The Night Agent and The Diplomat on Netflix, Rabbit Hole on Paramount+, and the mega-budgeted Citadel on Prime Video.
Read More
Index Of News
Consider making some contribution to keep us going. We are donation based team who works to bring the best content to the readers. Every donation matters.
Donate Now

Subscription Form

Liking our Index Of News so far? Would you like to subscribe to receive news updates daily?