Diclectin: Proceed With Caution

Diclectin: Proceed With Caution

Questions are again being raised about the use of a commonly prescribe drug for morning sickness. Earlier this year a commentary published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Canada pointed to key flaws in a study on the drug Diclectin, a combination of the antihistamine doxylamine and vitamin B6.

The commentary noted that since most of the recommendations about Diclectin are based on a flawed meta-analysis that was published in 1997 by Motherisk Canada, the safety of the drug does not have as strong of evidence as previously suggested.

The major error was that far fewer women were used in the study than suggested, overstating the safety profile and making potentially inaccurate claims about the prevention of birth defects, which has not been adequately tested.

Although the drug still has a solid safety profile, it is always worth considering alternatives to medications, especially in the case of managing morning sickness, since it will generally resolve itself with time. Dr. Nav Persaud, author of the commentary, said he has changed is own practice when it comes to treating morning sickness, saying that Diclectin should not be considered a first-line treatment and that alternatives should be looked at first.

  • Fill Up: Eat small, bland and higher protein meals every one to two hours and keep crackers and other bland snacks at the bedside to avoid the morning blood sugar dip.
  • Vitamin Up: Consider taking a vitamin B6 supplement (consult your healthcare provider before adding any supplements to your diet).
  • Drink Up: Drink room-temperature fluids between meals, rather than with meals.
  • Acupressure: Stimulation of the pericardium acupoint, about 4.5 cm above the wrist on the inside of the forearm, can be effective at relieving morning sickness. This can be done with your hands, by an acupuncturist or wrist bands.
  • Befriend Ginger: Fresh ginger has been shown to be safe and effective for morning sickness when taken in small doses (consult your healthcare provider before taking ginger as it may infer with pre-existing conditions or interact with certain mediations).
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