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Should Pregnant Women Take Glyburide or Insulin?

 Posted on May 05,2015 in Uncategorized

A recent study that compared the two most common anti-diabetic drugs produced somewhat mixed results, insofar as birth injuries are concerned.

Researchers at The University of North Carolina followed about 100,000 pregnant women with diabetes. Approximately half received insulin, and the other half received glyburide, which is sold under various trade names, including Glynase, Diabeta, Semi-Daonil, and Micronase Daonil.

Glyburide mothers had higher rates of severe obesity and preeclampsia. Their babies were at a higher risk for NICU admission, respiratory distress, hypoglycemia, preterm birth, and birth injury. Insulin mothers and babies had higher incidence of obstetric trauma, jaundice, and C-sections.

Dr. Richard Hold at The University of Southampton in England concluded that the study “heightens residual concerns about the use of glyburide to treat [gestational diabetes] that need to be resolved before this drug should be recommended for continued use in pregnancy.”


It is very important that mothers with diabetes stay on effective medication, because these women are at risk for LGA – Large for Gestational Age – babies. LGA babies, in turn, are significantly at risk for shoulder dystocia.

When the baby is too large to pass through the mother’s narrow birth canal, the baby’s shoulders may become lodged against the sides. At the same time, the umbilical cord continues to drop and can wrap itself around the baby’s neck.


A few moments of hypoxia – a lack of oxygen to the brain – can lead to cerebral palsy, a debilitating condition that affects both the mind and the body. In extreme cases, children may be reduced to a vegetative state. Multiple surgeries may be able to alleviate the symptoms, but there is no cure for this disease.

In these situations, even experienced doctors may panic, because they know the clock is ticking. Often, a baby’s arm is exposed and the doctor will tug on the baby to try and pull him or her out of the mother. This force can tear the brachial plexus nerves and lead to Erb’s palsy. Affected children may lose some or all function in one arm and their faces will drop on that side. This damage is permanent.

Because of the lifelong financial and emotional consequences, monetary compensation in a birth injury case can be extremely high. Plaintiffs may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. Punitive damages are typically appropriate as well.

Serious birth injuries occur every day in the United States. For a free consultation with an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney, contact The Bettersworth Law Firm. We have access to nationwide resources, yet it maintains a small-town atmosphere. Call 830-443-9193 today.

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