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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 236-244

Metformin in gestational diabetes: An emerging contender

1 Consultant Endocrinologist, Department of Endocrinology, G. D Hospital and Diabetes Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal ; Chief Endocrinologist, Department of Endocrinology, Sun Valley Diabetes Hospital, Guwahati, Assam, India
2 Consultant Gynecologist, Department of Gynecology, G. D Hospital and Diabetes Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Awadhesh Kumar Singh
Flat 1C, 3 Canal Street, Kolkata, West Bengal - 700 014
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.149317

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Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is defined as any degree of glucose intolerance occurring first time during pregnancy. Its prevalence is simultaneously increasing with the global rise of diabesity. GDM commonly develops, when maternal glucose metabolism is unable to compensate for the progressive development of insulin resistance, arising primarily from the consistently rising diabetogenic placental hormones. It classically develops during the second or third trimester. Theoretically, insulin sensitizers should have been the ideal agent in its treatment, given the insulin resistance, the major culprit in its pathogenesis. Fortunately, majority of women can be treated satisfactorily with lifestyle modification, and approximately 20% requires more intensive treatment. For several decades, insulin has been the most reliable treatment strategy and the gold standard in GDM. Metformin is effective insulin sensitizing agent and an established first line drug in type 2 diabetes currently. As it crosses the placenta, a safety issue remains an obstacle and, therefore, metformin is currently not recommended in the treatment of GDM. Nevertheless, given the emerging clinically equivalent safety and efficacy data of metformin compared to insulin, it appears that it may perhaps open a rather new door in managing GDM. The aim of this review is to critically analyze, the safety and efficacy data of metformin regarding its use in GDM and pregnant mothers with polycystic ovarian disease, which has emerged in past decades.

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