Prescribing patterns and outcomes among patients treated for gestational diabetes mellitus

Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent). 2021 Nov 10;35(2):172-175. doi: 10.1080/08998280.2021.2000845. eCollection 2022.


Insulin is recommended as first-line pharmacologic therapy for gestational diabetes (GDM); however, glyburide and metformin are often used. This study aimed to identify the most commonly prescribed agents for treating GDM, along with the maternal and fetal outcomes associated with their use. Electronic medical records were used to identify the medications prescribed for GDM at a large health system. Data were collected comparing medication failure rate, maternal weight gain, and incidence of fetal macrosomia, neonatal hypoglycemia, and premature delivery between the agents used. Of the 368 patients who met the inclusion criteria, 76.9% were initiated on glyburide, 13.6% were initiated on metformin, 8.2% were initiated on insulin, and 1.4% were initiated on a combination of glyburide and metformin. Glyburide was associated with less medication failure compared to insulin and metformin. There was no significant difference in maternal weight gain, fetal macrosomia, or neonatal hypoglycemia between the three classes of medications. However, recipients of basal and bolus insulin had a higher rate of preterm delivery compared to recipients of glyburide and metformin. Our findings suggest that glyburide and metformin are frequently prescribed over insulin as the initial treatment for GDM and appear to be safe and effective alternatives.

Keywords: Diabetes; gestational diabetes; prescribing patterns.