Metformin, A Widely Prescribed Diabetes Drug, May Increase The Risk Of Birth Defects

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Using metformin, a common diabetic medication, while trying to conceive may be harmful, according to a new research.

Males whose dads had taken metformin in the 3 months before to pregnancy were shown to have a greater chance of genital birth abnormalities. A larger body of evidence is required to determine whether or not this connection indicates a real cause-and-effect connection, not whether it should alter how the medicine is given.

Type 2 diabetes sufferers have found the generic medicine metformin to be a lifesaver. Metformin, when used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle and regular fitness, helps control blood sugar concentrations.

It is possible that the medicine might have an adverse effect on male reproductive health, mostly in animals or just in the laboratory. This current study appears to be the first large investigation of its sort to investigate this possible influence on males.

In children whose diabetes dads were using insulin but still not metformin, there was no elevated risk. Even though the data don’t prove a direct relationship, they lend credence to the theory that ingesting metformin in that critical time window is to blame for the increased risk.

Metformin-related birth abnormalities still seem to be at a very low overall risk. As a group, these children had a far lower incidence of genital abnormalities (0.9%) than the general population (0.24%). It’s possible that younger men who use metformin for bodyweight reduction might still be exposed to a high degree of risk.

At this point, it’s impossible to tell if metformin is directly linked to birth abnormalities. Any choice on whether or not prospective dads may discontinue consuming metformin must be weighed against the advantages of the medication in treating type 2 diabetes, which is a medical issue that has been linked to decreased male fertility in the past.

William Reid
A science writer through and through, William Reid’s first starting working on offline local newspapers. An obsessive fascination with all things science/health blossomed from a hobby into a career. Before hopping over to Optic Flux, William worked as a freelancer for many online tech publications including ScienceWorld, JoyStiq and Digg. William serves as our lead science and health reporter.