Can a common diabetes medicine used by fathers impact their offspring? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Men who used the diabetes medicine metformin during the three months prior to conception of their son saw malformations of the genital and urinary tracts three and a half times more often in these children, a very large study from Denmark finds. Johns Hopkins diabetes expert Rita Kalyani explains.

Kalyani: What they found was that in this observational study they went back and looked at the use of metformin in fathers and related it to whether their children had birth defects and what they found is that actually there was an increased risk of birth defects in boys born to fathers that used metformin in a formative period, three months before they were conceived.  :26

Kalyani says metformin is recommended as first line treatment for type 2 diabetes and is therefore used quite commonly, so finding out more about this association will be very important. She notes that there are quite a few choices in diabetes medicines that might be used alternatively. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.