Finally, a Pill for Morning Sickness -- But Is It Safe?

pregnancyThere's so much conflicting information out there about what's safe and what isn't, especially when it comes to pregnancy and babies, right? Come June, expecting moms with morning sickness can take Diclegis, a drug that was pulled off the market back in the '80s after claims it caused birth defects. The FDA says that whole birth defect thing turned out to just be a scare ... but I'd be too scared to take it anyway.


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Made by a private Canadian company called Duchesnay Inc, Diclegis is a generic version of a drug that came on the market under the name Bendectin back in the '50s in the US. By the '80s, 33 million nauseated pregnant women had taken Bendectin, but Merrell Dow, the company who made it, voluntarily withdrew it from the market because of hundreds of lawsuits filed by mothers claiming taking it caused birth defects in their babies. Merrell Dow says they withdrew the drug only because they couldn't afford to fight the lawsuits, not because it really did cause defects, something the FDA agrees with.


I had terrible "morning" sickness (and by "morning" I mean "morning, noon, and night, and middle of the night, and early morning, and basically each and every minute of the day"), but only in my first trimester; over the course of a couple of days, it magically lifted and I went from barely being able to eat anything (and not gaining any weight at all) to eating everything in sight (and gaining 50 pounds, high-five Kim Kardashian!!).

It was awful, but, I know, nothing compared to what some women suffer. I've had several friends whose morning sickness was so severe and lasted so long (like, 40 weeks long), their doctors prescribed anti-nausea medicine. I know that in at least one case that medicine was very likely a life-saver, and not in name only.

But still, I think unless I had really extreme morning sickness that was endangering my baby's life (or mine), I'd steer clear of this Diclegis. It's scary to say but I don't 100 percent trust the FDA -- they've been wrong before -- remember Thalidomide and all the awful birth defects it ended up causing? 

But then, my whole approach to my pregnancy was "better safe than sorry." I followed my doctor's instructions religiously, didn't eat a bite of anything on the list of things that MIGHT not be not OK (from sushi to brie), cut out all caffeine, and barely took an Advil. Looking back, I know I was a bit paranoid, but on the other hand, nine months of mild deprivation seems like a small price to pay for knowing you did everything in your power to assure your baby's health. And yes, I gave birth naturally, with no drugs (I'll take a monument over the medal, thanks!). I don't believe in suffering unnecessarily, but I also believe in being safer than sorrier when it comes to the health of my child.

Would you feel safe taking Diclegis if you had bad morning sickness?


Image via lizdavenportcreative/Flickr

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