Major Birth Defects Linked With Fathers’ Use of Diabetes Drug Metformin

Written by sidhanta

A large cohort study found that babies born to men who took metformin during the period of sperm development were at increased risk for birth defects, specifically genital defects in boys. 

These finding suggest that men with diabetes who are taking metformin should talk to their doctors about whether they should switch to another treatment when trying to conceive a child. 

However, because diabetes control also affects sperm quality, discontinuing metformin treatment could also affect birth outcomes. 

Diabetes increasingly occurs in people of reproductive age, compromises sperm quality, and is associated with impaired male fertility. 

Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark and Stanford University studied data from nation-wide national registries of births, patients,

Babies were considered exposed to a diabetes drug if their father filled at least 1 prescription during the 3 months when the fertilizing sperm were developing.

The researchers compared birth defects in the babies across diabetes drugs, different times of taking the drug relative to development of fertilizing sperm, and with unexposed siblings of the babies.

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