For pregnant women who find difficulty reducing their blood glucose through exercise and diet, the use of oral medicine can help.
For women who suffer from gestational diabetes (GDM), the most effective way to make sure that you and your fetus are in good health is to monitor your blood glucose. There are women who successfully use exercise and diet to get their blood glucose levels in the targeted range, while some have to resort to insulin.
Gestational Diabetes (GDM): Oral Medications
When it comes to oral medicine for gestational diabetes, the most often used are metformin (Riomet, Fortamet, Glucophage, Glumetza) and glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase, Micronase)
- Glyburide: Glyburide is also typically prescribed for the treatment of type ll diabetes. It stimulates your pancreas to produce insulin which assists the cells to absorb the blood glucose that can give them, helping to keep blod glucose levels in the targeted range.
- Metformin: Metformin helps to decrease the quantity of sugar made by your liver, making sure that your blood glucose level is low and improving the sensitivity of the cells to insulin. It is usually prescribed for type ll diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes (GDM) Treatment: When Are Oral Medications Used?
Oral medications may be given together with insulin or on its own. Much disagreement has surfaced on the use of oral medications for gestational diabetes. As a result, such oral medications are only prescribed when diet and insulin have proved to be ineffective in the control of blood glucose levels.
Even though metformin and glyburide have not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with the completion of more studies, there appears to be a change in professional opinion on these medications.
The difference in opinion is not on the effectiveness of the medications in the control of diabetes. Rather, the disagreement concerns the possible damage to the growing fetus and the pregnant woman.
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Gestational Diabetes (GDM) Treatment: Oral Medications vs. Insulin
Due to the possibility of complications that can occur to the fetus, doctors need to be careful in the prescription of oral medications to women who are pregnant. Whether or not oral medications ought to be used depends upon a number of factors which can be:
- Glyburide remains in the bloodstream of the mother, not moving into the placenta to go into the bloodstream of the growing fetus. This is good as it will not affect the fetus, a consideration pregnant women must take.
- Metformin does cross the placenta and goes into the bloodstream of the fetus, but in doses too small to cause any damage to the growing fetus as confirmed by studies.
- Normally, gestational diabetes is diagnosed at the earliest when the second trimester is coming to an end. Therefore, there is no need for these oral medications to be used at the time of the first trimester when the formation of the baby’s organs takes place. So, the possibility of harm to the developing fetus is negligible.
- A study have shown that women who used metformin liked their treatment more than those women injected with insulin. It indicates that the women prefer oral intake of medicines to injections. They found taking medicine through the mouth easier than by injection.
The way to a healthy, safer pregnancy for women with gestational diabetes is proper control over blood glucose levels to have them in the targeted range. Gestational diabetes which is not well controlled can lead to greater risk of Caesarean birth and delivery complications. Besides these, the mothers and their babies have a better chance of developing type ll diabetes later in life. If exercise, diet and insulin cannot help to bring down the levels of your blood glucose, seek your doctor’s advice on oral medications.