View Full Version : Pregnant Women 'Can Take Anti-Nausea Drugs'

18th September 2011, 02:36 PM
The joys of pregnancy are mitigated for many by persistent nausea and vomiting. The cause remains obscure (though evolutionary theorists bizarrely claim it to be advantageous – “a defence strategy” to prevent the mother ingesting potentially harmful noxious substances).

Mothers are usually told they just have to stick it out – not least because of fears that anti-sickness medication may harm the baby. Certainly “alternative” non-drug therapies such as ginger, camomile and peppermint, together with acupressure (using the fingers to press key healing points) are preferred – if they work.


But, surprisingly, the worries seem to be misplaced. Dr Sheba Jarvis of London’s Hammersmith Hospital has investigated the use of drugs on pregnant women for a review in the British Medical Journal.

She found that clinical trials involving 200,000 women comparing various drugs, including the antihistamines promethazine and prochlorperazine, with placebos confirmed their safety and efficacy.

Indeed, they may even protect the foetus by minimising the metabolic disturbances associated with vomiting and improving the mother’s nutrition.

She also points out that hormonal changes during pregnancy affect the gut, predisposing mothers-to-be to heartburn and gastritis.

These may compound the symptoms of nausea and vomiting, but can be counteracted by antacid drugs such as ranitidine – “a useful adjunctive treatment that is safe for use in pregnancy”. This observation, so important for prospective mothers, should be better known.

The busy modern hospital is scarcely the haven of peace that would permit the necessary rest and sleep for those recovering from illness or operation. This even applies to those who have a room to themselves – as revealed in a log kept by a woman being treated for a prolapsed disc.

During her week’s stay, she was disturbed, on average, 50 times a day between 7am and 10pm by nursing, medica and auxiliary staff – and her own visitors.

“Anyone who really needs a rest would do far better checking into a hotel,” she observes.

Source: Telegraph. com