Animal studies on Novolin N (NPH insulin) and pregnancy show that the medication does not appear to cause harm to the fetus. It is very important for pregnant women with diabetes to control their blood sugar, and most healthcare providers consider Novolin N to be safe for use during pregnancy. If you are taking Novolin N and pregnancy occurs, you may need to adjust your insulin dosage.
Using Novolin N During Pregnancy
Novolin® N (NPH insulin) is an intermediate-acting form of insulin. It is available without a prescription. In general, Novolin N is considered to be safe for use during pregnancy.
Novolin 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 Novolin 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 Novolin N can be useful to help get blood sugar under control.
Both high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can be dangerous to a 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):
Novolin N [package insert]. Princeton, NJ: Novo Nordisk, Inc.;2013 March.
Novo Nordisk. Dear healthcare provider letter: important insulin delivery device information: discontinuation of several insulin delivery devices (June 2009). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/DrugShortages/UCM177158.pdf. Accessed August 21, 2009.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
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