Is it safe for a breastfeeding mother to take glucophage?

Glucophage is an anti-diabetic agent. The active ingredient of this medication is metformin. Glucophage or metformin is contraindicated in pregnancy and for breastfeeding mothers. This is because Glucophage has a teratogenic effect that may cause child deformities and other complications in pregnancy. It’s not just Glucophage, all other oral antidiabetic agents are contraindicated in pregnancy. However, only Canada labelling includes pregnancy and breastfeeding as the contraindication, but not America labelling. Insulin is the medication of choice for pregnant women. Some nursing mothers are given Glucophage, but that is upon doctor’s approval. Diabetes treatment will help to control your diabetes and prevent unwanted complications related to medications.

Diabetes is a chronic disease whereby the blood sugar level is always high but the cells are not getting any. Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar refers to a high level of sugar beyond the healthy range in one’s blood. High levels of sugar in the blood for a long period may cause death and other complications such as stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, vision disturbances, and nerve problems. The sad fact is that the majority of diabetic patients are asymptomatic during the initial phase. Symptoms will come later as the disease progresses. The best way to detect any diseases especially diabetes is to go for regular health screening and medical checkups at least once a year.

Diabetes is treated with diet intervention and also medications. Diet intervention alone is for those who are prediabetic or for people with high risk to develop diabetes mellitus. Diabetic patients will require both diet interventions and medications. Diet intervention will require advice from a dietician. Generally speaking, food with low glycaemic index are included in patients’ diet plan. Other than that, food intake based on calorie count or portion will be introduced. If a patient is on insulin, they will be reminded frequently to keep candy bars or a sachet of sugar in case they become hypoglycemic.

There are few groups of medications can be used in treating diabetes. Usually, all patients will start with a single medication and if not effective, dose adjustment will be done, and later more medications will be added. The group of antidiabetics is:

– Biguanides

– Sulphonylureas

– Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors

– Thiazolidinediones

– Insulin

– DPP-4 inhibitors

– GLP-1 receptor agonists

The example of biguanides is metformin. Metformin is commonly used as the first-line treatment as this drug has proven to help in the reduction of blood sugar as well as body weight. The examples of sulfonylureas are glipizide and tolbutamide. Acarbose and miglitol are examples of alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, while pioglitazone is the example of thiazolidinediones. Insulin has many subtypes and classification. Insulins are classified into ultra short-acting, short-acting, intermediate-acting, and long-acting which referring to the duration of their actions.

Like any other medication, Glucophage can also cause you to develop certain side effects. However, chances are low. Generally speaking, if a doctor decided to prescribe you this medication or other medications, he or she definitely had considered many factors. Doctors will always make sure that the benefits of the medication given to the patient outweigh the risks. Always remember that, if you are given metformin during pregnancy, please do not simply take it and see the doctor again for further discussions. Diabetes treatment will help to control your diabetes and prevent unwanted complications related to medications.

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