Metformin ‘could treat pre-eclampsia’
A drug associated with treating diabetes might have the potential to prevent and treat pre-eclampsia, according to research.
Metformin decreases the production of the two toxins elevated in pre-eclampsia and also helps heal injured blood vessels, according to a study compiled at the Translational Obstetrics Group at Mercy Hospital for Women and the University of Melbourne.
The drug is considered safe to use during pregnancy, which is why it is often used to treat diabetes in pregnant women.
Dr Fiona Brownfoot, from Mercy Hospital in Melbourne, who was lead author of the study, said in light of the laboratory findings, clinical trials should now be done to see whether metformin could be used to treat women with pre-eclampsia.
She said: “It could even be given to women at high risk of developing pre-eclampsia to see whether it can prevent it from happening in the first place.”
Professor Stephen Tong, senior author and head of the Translational Obstetrics Group, added: “If metformin proves to decrease the burden of pre-eclampsia, it could save the lives of many mothers and babies globally.”