Updated: 29/08/17 : 14:59:05
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Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre system approved for use in pregnancy

Today, Tuesday 29 August, Abbott has announced that its FreeStyle Libre system has been CE marked for use in pregnant women  with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. 

The system, which is clinically proven to be accurate and safe for use during pregnancy, allows pregnant women to monitor their glucose levels without routine finger prick testing through the use of a small round sensor worn on the back of the upper arm.

Approximately 7.5 percent of all pregnant women have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and one in seven women will develop gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. In order to ensure a healthy pregnancy, women with diabetes need to frequently monitor their glucose levels, as they are especially at risk of both hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia.

The FreeStyle Libre system enables a person with diabetes to check their glucose through the use of a small, discreet sensor, which is approximately the size of a €2 coin and automatically measures glucose for up to 14 days. In the IMPACT clinical trial,  users of the FreeStyle Libre system spent less time in hypoglycemia, including at night, without increasing HbA1c compared to SMBG. Data from real-world use also shows that higher rates of scanning with the FreeStyle Libre system were found to be strongly associated with improved glucose control.

In addition to improved control, checking glucose with the FreeStyle Libre system during pregnancy has been found to be less stressful (98%), less painful (100%), easier to use (94%), and more discreet (95%) than other methods such as finger prick testing.

“The approval of the FreeStyle Libre product for use during pregnancy will increase the quality of life for pregnant women while also helping them to more closely and effectively manage their diabetes,” said Dr Eleanor Scott, Lead Investigator Senior Lecturer in Medicine, Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine, University of Leeds and Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. “This is particularly true for women who have developed gestational diabetes and are managing a new condition while also dealing with all of the usual challenges of pregnancy.”

For Kildare Mom, Lorraine Murphy who was diagnosed with diabetes when she was 14, managing her diabetes while pregnant became all-consuming.  Her joy at being pregnant was tempered by the challenges of managing her diabetes. 

“When I was pregnant, managing my diabetes almost became a full time job.   I had to test my glucose levels constantly – it seemed like a million times a day – which was time consuming, sore and added to the worry of being pregnant for the first time.  I’ve been using the FreeStyle Libre system for a number of months now and love it. If  I’d had it during my pregnancy it would have made life so much easier. Hopefully if I am lucky to get pregnant again, it will be easier managing my diabetes with the FreeStyle Libre system.”

For more information, please visit www.freestylelibre.ie