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J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2011 Feb;37(2):132-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0756.2010.01330.x. Epub 2010 Dec 16.

Safety and tolerability of once or twice daily neutral protamine hagedorn insulin in fasting pregnant women with diabetes during Ramadan.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. azlinm@ppukm.ukm.my



To evaluate the safety and tolerability of once or twice daily neutral protamine hagedorn (NPH) insulin in fasting pregnant diabetics during Ramadan.


This was a prospective cohort study conducted during Ramadan 2006 and 2007. Twenty four pregnant diabetic women were given NPH insulin once at 5 pm or twice daily at 5 pm and 5 am. Demographic data, blood glucose control, insulin requirement, days of fasting and hypoglycemic episodes were analyzed.


Most women were parity 1 (37.5%) in their second trimester (54.2%) and worked during the daytime (87.5%). Fourteen women (58.3%) had gestational diabetes mellitus, nine women (37.5%) had type 2 and one (4.2%) had type 1 diabetes mellitus. There were significant reductions in mean fasting blood glucose (6.16 mmol/L versus 5.34 mmol/L, P = 0.001), glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) (6.70% ± 0.91 versus 6.64% ± 0.96, P = 0.001) and serum fructosamine (232.4 mmol/L ± 24.0 versus 217.0 mmol/L ± 24.3, P = 0.001) after Ramadan compared to before Ramadan. Throughout the four weeks of Ramadan, home blood glucose monitoring showed a reducing trend and was within the acceptable limits. Insulin requirement was increased from the first to the fourth week with a reduction in insulin dose noted after (38.5 U/day) compared to before the start of Ramadan (40 U/day). Most women (79.2%) were able to fast for more than 15 days without any hypoglycemia or fetal demise.


Once or twice daily NPH insulin is a safe and tolerable option for pregnant diabetics who wish to fast during Ramadan.

© 2010 The Authors. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research © 2010 Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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