From the United Kingdom:
I am concerned about my diabetic wife who is also expecting our first child in 7 months. Recently, her insulin was changed from Human insulin to Humalog Lispro. Nobody seems to have much knowledge regarding the effects of Humalog on the feotus or baby during pregnancy. My wife is around eight weeks into her pregnancy.
Has anybody been through her pregnancy using Humalog, and would they like to share their experiences with us? Any other information or advice will be greatly appreciated.
Although Lilly does not recommend the use of lispro insulin [Humalog® brand] during pregnancy, there is no clear data as of yet that it poses any risk to the fetus. I have used Humalog during pregnancy if the mother had already been started prior to pregnancy or if the other types and combinations of insulin were not working. Therefore, if your wife are getting good results with Humalog, then I would suggest that she stick with it.
There's a recent letter to the New England Journal of Medicine about the possibility that Humalog might be linked to congenital abnormalities. I do not want to blow this thing out of proportion and start recommending additional fetal testing based on a few case reports, but a detailed ultrasound (which the mother should get anyway) will be able to diagnose any of the reported abnormalities. Your wife is far enough along in her pregnancy, that switching to Regular now would be pointless. You and your wife should discuss getting sonograms with her obstetrician.
[Editor's comment: Lilly does not recommend use of Humalog during pregnancy, as there are no controlled trials that show that it's better, or worse, or if it might have any adverse side-effects on the developing baby. As time goes by, there will be more and more women who are on Humalog during pregnancy; so we'll eventually accumulate more information about whether there are really are higher chances of problems with pregnancies whilst on Humalog.
I must remain a bit concerned about use of any medication during pregnancy when there's a proven product (in this case, Regular insulin) that's readily available, and could be used instead. I'm still awaiting controlled trials before advising that my patients use Humalog during pregnancy (or when trying to conceive a child). WWQ]
Original posting 13 Oct 97
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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