Posts Tagged ‘ Zofran ’

FDA Approves Morning Sickness Drug

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the return of a drug that was widely used to treat morning sickness until it came off the market 30 years ago.  Bendectin, now called Diclegis, will return to the market in early July after extensive study has shown it is safe and effective.  Time.com has more:

Monday’s FDA decision means a new version of the pill once called Bendectin is set to return to U.S. pharmacies under a different name — Diclegis — as a safe and effective treatment for this pregnancy rite of passage.

In the intervening decades, the treatment is widely believed to have undergone more scrutiny for safety than any other drug used during pregnancy.

“There’s been a lot of buzz about this. Nothing better has come along” to treat morning sickness in those 30 years, said Dr. Edward McCabe, medical director for the March of Dimes, who welcomed the step.

“We know safety-wise, there’s zero question,” said Dr. Gary Hankins of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, who headed one of the company-financed studies of Diclegis that led to its approval.

U.S. sales of Diclegis are expected to begin in early June, according to Canada-based manufacturer Duchesnay Inc. The company has long sold a generic version of the pill in Canada under yet another name, Diclectin.

For all the names, the main ingredients are the same: Vitamin B6 plus the over-the-counter antihistamine doxylamine, found in the sleep aid Unisom. U.S. obstetricians have long told nauseated pregnant women how to mix up the right dose themselves.

In fact, in 2004 the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued guidelines calling the combination a first-line therapy.

The difference that prescription-only Diclegis would offer: Combining both ingredients with a delayed-release coating designed to help women take a daily dose before their nausea sets in.

This news follows a Danish study last month that showed that Zofran, another morning sickness medication, is also safe.

Image: Woman suffering from nausea, via Shutterstock

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Anti-Nausea Drug Safe for Pregnancy, Study Finds

Friday, March 1st, 2013

A Danish study has found that Zofran, an anti-nausea drug that’s given to pregnant women who suffer from severe morning sickness, does not harm a growing fetus.  More from USA Today:

One in 10 pregnant women has nausea and vomiting bad enough to need medicine but many forgo it out of fear of side effects. No drugs are currently approved for morning sickness in the United States although doctors are free to prescribe whatever they believe is best.

Zofran, sold by GlaxoSmithKline and in generic form for treating nausea from cancer treatments and other causes, has been the top choice. Yet women and doctors have been leery of it because a small study previously suggested it might raise the risk of a birth defect — cleft palate.

The new study of more than 600,000 pregnancies in Denmark found no evidence of major birth-related problems, so women should not be afraid to use Zofran if they need it, said Dr. Iffath Hoskins, a high-risk pregnancy specialist at NYU Langone Medical Center and a spokeswoman for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

“It’s effective and it’s safe,” she said. “Nobody is giving you a gold star for suffering through this.”

Poor nutrition because of excessive vomiting can harm the woman and the fetus, she said.

Image: Woman with morning sickness, via Shutterstock

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