Obesity drug has no effect on birth weight

14 July 2015

Research has found that treating pregnant women who are classed as obese with medication has no effect on the birth weight of babies.

The study found that treating overweight mothers-to-be with the diabetes drug metformin, which helps regulate blood sugar does not reduce the weight of the baby. 

It is thought that exposure to excess blood sugar causes babies to gain too much weight in the womb, which then puts them at risk of being obese later in life as well as being in danger to illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Doctors hoped that by controlling blood sugar they could manage the birth weight of babies.

Looking at 226 obese pregnant women who were on medication from the second trimester, the team found there was no difference in the weight of babies born to mothers who received
the treatment, compared with 223 women who received a placebo.

However, it did help reduce blood sugar levels in the new mums and lowered the levels of other markers that have been linked to pre-eclampsia and premature births.

The study was published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

Posted by Phillip Briggs

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