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Morning Sickness Drug Returns

Posted on in Birth Defects

Recently, the FDA has approved the return of a prescription medicine used to treat morning sickness during pregnancy that was taken off the market about 30 years ago after leading to hundreds of lawsuits that claimed it led to birth defects.

The pill that has been brought back from the dead was called Bendectin in the past, but will now be sold as Diclegis. The FDA never actually stated that the pill was unsafe, but the pharmaceutical company who distributed the pill decided to pull it once the litigation costs outweighed profit.

During the time Bendectin was on the market, over 300 lawsuits were filed against Merrell Dow, the company behind it. These various lawsuits claimed that the drug led to babies being born with deformities. However, no direct link was made between Bendectin and the birth defects it supposedly caused. There was no scientific evidence.

When Bendectin was pulled off the market, The New York Times had something to say about the ordeal:

Doctors know of no teratogen- an agent that causes birth defects- that produces anything resembling this variety of problems. Nearly all teratogens act at specific times during fetal development and affect the organs then forming…The case against Bendectin is unclear. The Food and Drug Administration admitted as much in 1980, after an intensive two-day review of available data. The review panel said no association between Bendectin and birth defects had been demonstrated. It added, however, that because there was no way to prove the absolute safety of any drug in all women under every circumstance, there must remain a “residual uncertainty” about how this drug affects an unborn child.

Even with some scares in the past regarding medication taken during pregnancy, most of the time advice for pregnant women is based on theory more so than proven science. Diclegis will provide relief to those nauseous pregnant women dealing with upset stomachs every morning.

Many drugs are taken off the market and recalled each year for various reasons. If you or somebody you know has suffered negative impacts from a recalled drug, you may be entitled to compensation. Don't hesitate to contact a dedicated Illinois defective medical attorney to assist you.

Image courtesy of hin255/ freedigitalphotos

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