The only drug with FDA approval to treat morning sickness is slated to hit pharmacies this June. The medication is called Diclegis and is a new version of the older pill Bendectin, which was taken off the market in 1983.
Bendectin was banned from pharmacy shelves when an Australian obstetrician researcher claimed that it caused birth defects, says Dr. Murray Feingold, the physician in chief of The Feingold Center for Children, medical editor of WBZ-TV and WBZ radio, and president of the Genesis Fund. Later studies showed that the obstetrician falsified his reports, and that the medication was in fact safe.
“It certainly is a medication that should have been brought back years ago,” Dr. Feingold tells Parenting.com. “It’s such a sad thing that a great drug was taken off the market for the wrong reasons.”
The nausea and vomiting of morning sickness affects almost three-quarters of newly pregnant women and usually strikes between four and eight weeks of pregnancy.
Jennifer Niebyl, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, says that there’s no primary theory behind what triggers it. Researchers suspect that family history, vitamin deficiency, gastrointestinal bacteria, and pregnancy hormone levels might be some contributing culprits.
If you’re a mom who is already expecting, there’s still hope. Dr. Joanne Stone, the Director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Mount Sinai Hospital, says that doctors have essentially used the same thing as Bendectin and Diclegis for years.
“We just tell patients to take vitamin B6 three times a day and take Unisom at nighttime,” Dr. Stone told Parenting.com.
Zofran, a drug used to treat nausea caused by cancer medications, has also been shown to be safe for pregnant women, says Stone. However, Zofran is not FDA approved for treating morning sickness.
What morning sickness remedies have worked for you? Leave a comment.