Study links glyburide to more infant intensive care and respiratory distress
WebMD News from HealthDay
By Steven Reinberg
MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- When used to treat diabetes that develops during pregnancy (gestational diabetes), the drug glyburide has been linked to a number of complications in the baby, according to a new study.
In fact, infants born to mothers given glyburide (DiaBeta) during pregnancy had a higher risk of respiratory distress, needing intensive care, having low blood sugar, being too large at birth, and birth injury when compared to babies born to mothers treated with insulin.
There has been widespread and rapid uptake in the use of glyburide in mothers with gestational diabetes in the last 10 years, according to the report.
"Doctors and patients need to be aware that although glyburide is easier to use than insulin, not all women may be good candidates for management with this medication," said lead researcher Michele Jonsson Funk, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "We need to better understand which women can be treated effectively with glyburide, considering not only the short-term but also the long-term effects that these treatments may have on the health of their newborns," she said.
It's important to note, however, that while this study found an association between the use of glyburide and an increased risk of complications, the study wasn't designed to show a cause-and-effect relationship.
And Funk added that exactly why the drug is linked with these complications isn't clear.
But these findings are especially concerning since, according to Funk, the number of women who develop gestational diabetes in the United States has more than doubled during the last 20 years.
The report was published March 30 in JAMA Pediatrics.
"Glyburide has been used increasingly in pregnancy over the last 10 years. Although the initial trial data suggested it was safe, large studies including this one have raised concerns about the safety of its use," said Dr. Richard Holt, author of an accompanying editorial in the journal, and a professor of diabetes and endocrinology at the University of Southampton in England.
source : Gestational Diabetes Drug Might Raise Babies' Complication Risk