Washington: The US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has approved a drug to treat morning sickness that was banned 30 years ago amid claims that the pills caused birth defects. The safety scare however proved to be a false alarm.
The drug, which was initially approved in the United States under the name Bendectin in 1956, is set to return to the pharmacies in June under a different name Diclegis.
Bendectin was withdrawn in 1983 following a slew of lawsuits from mothers claiming their children had been harmed by it. The US health agency, however, confirmed that the drug had not been withdrawn because it was ineffective or posed a danger but because the company, Merrell Dow, found the litigation cost too high.
Morning sickness, also called nausea gravidarum, affects more than half of all pregnant women. Though the symptoms usually persist in the early hours of the morning, for some it can occur at any time of the day. Nausea and vomiting due to pregnancy usually improve after the first trimester.