Taking Specific Diabetes Drug Could Make You More Likely to Have Children With Birth Defects

Taking Specific Diabetes Drug Could Make You More Likely to Have Children With Birth Defects

If you haven’t heard about metformin until now, maybe you’ll recognize it better by the name Glucophage. We’re talking about the first-line medication against type II diabetes. Those who have excess weight are considered more suitable to use metformin.

But as harsh as it may sound, you might think again before using metformin after finding out what a new study published in Annals of Internal Medicine has to say. According to Gizmodo.com, the new study suggests that metformin usage by men could lead to higher chances for their male offspring to develop birth defects. Over one million births from Denmark between 1997 and 2016 were assessed for the study. Information on the prescribed meds for the parents was also considered. 

Taking metformin three months prior to conception can be dangerous

The study in question claims that a higher risk of genital birth defects can appear if the fathers took the diabetes drug three months prior to conception.

As their name suggests, birth defects are changes that can affect pretty much any part of the newborn’s body, including the brain and heart.

The conclusion of the study is pretty clear:

Preconception paternal metformin treatment is associated with major birth defects, particularly genital birth defects in boys. Further research should replicate these findings and clarify the causation.

Therefore, there’s no use starting to panic just yet and avoid taking metformin at all costs. More information is needed for the researchers to say for sure if there is a real cause-and-effect scheme between birth defects and drug usage itself.

The researchers also wrote in their study:

Diabetes reduces semen quality and increasingly occurs during reproductive years. Diabetes medications, such as metformin, have glucose-independent effects on the male reproductive system. Associations with birth defects in offspring are unknown.



Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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