How is hypertriglyceridemia (high triglyceride levels) managed during pregnancy?

Updated: Jul 23, 2021
  • Author: Mary Ellen T Sweeney, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Women with elevated triglycerides before conception may develop severe hypertriglyceridemia, with triglyceride levels well above 1000 mg/dL, and the concomitant risk of pancreatitis. These women should be counseled regarding diet, exercise, and weight management before becoming pregnant and must be monitored closely during their pregnancies. [88] All pregnancies require occasional triglyceride monitoring. Simple inspection to rule out lipemic serum is all that is necessary.

The use of lipid-lowering drugs in pregnant patients and pediatric patients has not been thoroughly investigated. Thus, most of the medications to treat hypertriglyceridemia are contraindicated during pregnancy, although treatment with gemfibrozil in a patient with severe hypertriglyceridemia and pancreatitis has been reported. [88] Omega-3 fatty acids may be a more acceptable intervention, but the safety of high-dose N-3 fatty acids has not been proven.

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