Diabetes drug may help treat preeclampsia in pregnant women

A diabetes medication considered safe for pregnant women could potentially be used to treat or prevent preeclampsia, a leading cause of maternal death.

Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication that kills more than 60,000 women around the world each year. It occurs when an insufficient blood supply to the placenta causes the release of toxins into the mother’s bloodstream, leading to high blood pressure and organ damage. The condition currently has no medical treatment, and the only solution is to deliver the baby.

However, researchers at Melbourne’s Mercy Hospital for Women claim lab trials have shown the diabetes drug Metformin can block the release of toxins from the placenta. As the drug is inexpensive and already available on the market, it could provide a viable treatment option for preeclampsia.

Although the lab results have been positive, the researchers said clinical trials should be conducted to determine whether Metformin could effectively treat women with preeclampsia and other pregnancy complications. The findings were published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

When preeclampsia occurs at less than 37 weeks of gestation, doctors may be forced to deliver the infant prematurely in order to save the mother. Premature babies are at a higher risk of death, disability and brain injuries like cerebral palsy. As a result, it is essential for doctors to routinely monitor a pregnant woman’s blood pressure to prevent a premature delivery whenever possible. Birth injuries can occur when a physician does not diagnose or treat preeclampsia in a timely manner, such as by ordering a cesarean section or inducing labor.

It is important to note that determining fault can be more complicated than it might seem. If your child was injured and you believe someone else is fully or partially to blame, contact Chalik & Chalik to learn more about your rights.