Animal studies on Humulin N (NPH insulin) and pregnancy suggest that the medication is safe for women to use while pregnant. Although it is known that some insulins may cross the placenta, most healthcare providers generally consider Humulin N to be safe for use during pregnancy. If you are taking Humulin N and pregnancy occurs, talk to your healthcare provider (as pregnancy usually affects your insulin requirements).
An Overview of Using Humulin N During Pregnancy
Humulin® N (NPH insulin) is a non-prescription medication used to treat diabetes. The medication is an intermediate-acting form of insulin, used to control blood sugar throughout the day. Animal studies suggest that Humulin N is safe for women to use while pregnant.
Humulin N and Pregnancy Category B
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a pregnancy category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category B is given to medicines that have not been adequately studied in pregnant humans but do not appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies.
Although it was originally thought that insulin molecules are too large to cross the placenta, it is now known that some insulins, in some circumstances, may cross the placenta. In general, most healthcare providers consider Humulin N to be safe for use during pregnancy. It is very important for pregnant women with diabetes (including gestational diabetes) to control their blood sugar, and Humulin N can be useful to help get blood sugar under control.
Final Thoughts on Humulin N and Pregnancy
If you are pregnant or are thinking of becoming pregnant while taking Humulin N, let your healthcare provider know. He or she will consider the benefits and risks of taking the drug during pregnancy before making a recommendation in your particular situation. If you are already taking Humulin N and plan to continue taking it during pregnancy, you should be aware that pregnancy usually affects your insulin requirements.
Both high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can be dangerous to the fetus during pregnancy. Therefore, very good blood sugar control is essential for a healthy pregnancy. Be sure to seek early prenatal care; as a pregnant woman with diabetes, you will likely require more care than the average pregnant woman.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Humulin N [package insert]. Indianapolis, IN: Lily USA, LLC;2013 March.
Humulin N Vial [patient package insert]. Indianapolis, IN: Eli Lilly and Company;2007 August.
Humulin N Pen [patient package insert]. Indianapolis, IN: Eli Lilly and Company;2007 August.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
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