New drug curbs intensity of morning sickness

April 22, 2013 11:57:03 AM PDT
Last week, the FDA approved a new morning sickness pill for pregnant women. The study behind the approval was led by UTMB researchers in Galveston.

Not every pregnant woman has morning sickness that sends her to the hospital. But now a new drug might be able to prevent morning sickness from getting that bad in the first place.

"The motion of the car just made it worse," Christal Garcia said.

When Garcia was pregnant with little Scottie, the nausea made her miserable -- until she became a patient in a national study led by UTMB to test a new morning sickness pill.

"When I got on the study drug, it was like a night and day difference," Garcia said.

Dr. Shannon Clark conducted the study and says they actually measured morning sickness with a PUQE score -- Pregnancy-Unique Quantification of Emesis/Nausea.

"They had less time lost from work, they also chose at the end of the 14-day study period to continue the medication on a compassionate use basis," Dr. Clark said.

The drug, called Diclegis, is a new version of a drug that was taken off the market 30 years ago after a safety scare. They continued to use it in Canada, but it was tweaked and retested in the US.

Finally, Diclegis was approved by the FDA last week.

"This is the most studied drug in pregnancy and it's an FDA Category A rating. You can't get any better than that," Dr. Clark said.

Researchers say this new morning sickness pill, a combination of Vitamin B6 and an antihistamine, is so safe that pregnant women don't have to tough it out anymore.

And because some 85 percent of pregnant women have morning sickness, thousands of women will no longer have to make a choice between their discomfort and their baby's safety.

The morning sickness pill is expected to be available for pregnant women this summer.

Find Christi on Facebook at ABC13-Christi Myers or on Twitter at @ChristiMyers13


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