When Kim Kardashian talks, people listen. Her social media platforms are well-known for their massive followings and ability to influence fans with purchasing power.
That's why her recent post to her Instagram account—which has nearly 40 million followers (let that sink in)—gave me pause. In it, she's touting a pregnancy-related drug—and talking about plans to "partner" with the company that makes it. The photo shows the star holds up a medicine bottle of Diclegis, along with a caption that personally endorses its effectiveness on morning sickness.
She wrote, "OMG. Have you heard about this? As you guys know my #morningsickness has been pretty bad. I tried changing things about my lifestyle, like my diet, but nothing helped, so I talked to my doctor. He prescribed me #Diclegis, I felt a lot better and most importantly, it's been studied and there was no increased risk to the baby. I'm so excited and happy with my results that I'm partnering with Duchesnay USA to raise awareness about treating morning sickness. If you have morning sickness, be safe and sure to ask your doctor about the pill with the pregnant woman on it..."
So far close to a half million people have liked the post. So I was really hoping her recommendation was something at least safe, if not also effective, for all the people who might emulate her. But is there actual science behind it?
As it turns out, yes.
"Diclegis is the only Class A medication [for morning sickness] approved by the FDA in pregnancy," Jill Maura Rabin, M.D., a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, told Parents.com. "This is a safe medication in pregnancy to be used for women who experience nausea and vomitting."
She explained that 85 percent of pregnant women experience some form of this discomfort, mainly in the first trimester. (She also clarified that "morning sickness," as many of us know, is a misnomer—it can certainly extend into other hours of the day.)
Of course, Dr. Rabin stressed the importance of using the drug only as prescribed; it's not available over the counter. "If your doctor prescribes it, there is a specific way of taking it designed to maximize efficacy," she says. "The typical perscription is two [pills] at bedtime. Peak action is five to seven hours after you take it, so when you wake up in the morning, hopefully you'll feel better."
Dr. Rabin further explained that the medication was suspended for a period of 30 years—a version returned to the U.S. market in 2013 after being approved by the FDA as Diclegis—because a study linked it with problems with shortening of the baby's limbs. "But when they stopped the medication, the limb shortening occurred at the same rate. It was determined not to be good research, and the FDA came out in favor of [Diclegis]."
So it turns out that Karsashian may actually be publicizing something that can help a lot of people.
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Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/KimKardashian