Here's another one you can file under "drugs you don't need."
Researchers have been looking at a possible new use for a powerful and often dangerous med, one I've warned you about in the past.
This drug, known generically as metoclopramide, it is typically used to treat nausea and vomiting. Since those happen to be the main symptoms of morning sickness, some folks think it might be a good idea to give it to pregnant women.
Now, it's perfectly reasonable that pregnant women would want some relief from the pain and discomfort of morning sickness. What's not reasonable is the notion that this drug is a safe and effective way to do that.
Yet that's exactly what some would have you believe.
In fact, these drugs are already used for morning sickness in Europe. Researchers behind an Israeli study published in June in the New England Journal of Medicine say they believe that babies born to mothers who take this med are generally as healthy as those born to mothers who don't.
Personally, I still don't believe there's enough data to be certain, and this is not an area where there's room for doubt. But there's a lot more at stake than the baby's health. I'm worried about the soon-to-be mom, too.
Not long ago, I told you about how the FDA slapped this very same med with a black-box warning label – the most serious kind of warning. They found that some folks who use this stuff can develop involuntary limb movements and facial tics, and that these symptoms don't go away even after you stop taking the drug.
The researchers argue that these side effects only occur with long-term use, but they seem to have a different definition of long-term than the rest of us. That's because these side effects can take place after as little as 12 weeks.
As many mothers will tell you, morning sickness usually sticks around for roughly 12 weeks.
Isn't that cutting it a little close? Is it really worth the risk?
There are ways to help deal with morning sickness that don't involve drugs. For example, ginger root tea made from a fresh root often works well. In addition, many women have found relief by eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of the usual three big meals. It also helps if you don't spring out of bed each morning and rush through your day. Try getting a slower start, sitting up or relaxing in bed before getting out.
Be sure to stay hydrated, get some fresh air and avoid strong smells. Many women are especially sensitive to smells during pregnancy, and odors can trigger that nausea.
Unless you have no other choice, avoid drugs. Many of them are harmful to you as well as your baby.