Nausea and vomiting drug is safe for mother and fetus

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Pregnant women who suffer from severe morning sickness and vomiting which in its severest manifestation is termed hyperemesis gravidarum can now find relief: The popular anti-nausea drug Ondansetron (Zofran) was found to pose no increased risk of harm to their developing babies.

The large study in Denmark consisted of more than 600,000 Danish women who were pregnant between 2004 and 2011. Of those women, about 0.3 percent received prescriptions for Zofran and about half had nausea and vomiting severe enough that they had been hospitalized.

ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom notes, Zofran is truly a miracle drug. It was introduced by GlaxoSmithKline in 1991 as a novel treatment for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. It worked so well that oncologists routinely say that it has revolutionized cancer chemotherapy. It has subsequently been approved for postoperative nausea and vomiting and has been extensively used for severe morning sickness in pregnant women. It will be very comforting for women to know they can use Zofran without fear of harming their unborn child.

Led by Dr. Bjorn Pasternak of the State Serum Institute in Copenhagen, researchers used nationwide health registries to compare rates of miscarriage, stillbirth, birth defects, preterm delivery and low birthweight babies among women who used Zofran during pregnancy and those who did not.

No increased incidence of serious adverse effects was seen from Zofran, which was used in 1,970 of the 608,385 pregnancies.