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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

call me benedictin arnold

you know what, sweet gentle reader? we may have found a morning sickness remedy that actually works. a morning sickness remedy that is admittedly a little sketchy ... ok, freakishly sketchy ... but it's apparently working. mrs. nice guy now only pukes when she isn't on it. what is this wonder of wonders? why, it's homemade benedictin.

a wee little history lesson: benedictin had been widely prescribed to pregnant women from the mid-1950s to the late '70s as an anti-nausea agent. and, lo! it worked. but. benedictin was pulled off the market in the wake of the meltdown over thalidomide, a morning sickness remedy ... that caused horrific birth defects. the company that makes benedictin essentially had to stop producing benedictin because they were afraid of litigation (there's something else we can all thank lawyers for). but
benedictin is a totally different drug, you see. benedictin, in fact, was never removed from the FDA safe list. but no one wants to risk making it and facing lawsuits.

but! as it turns out, the chemical components of benedictin basically comprise a unisom tablet and a vitamin b6 pill. the main ingredient that is in unisom, it would seem, is the same active agent in benedictin. combine it with b6 and, boom, no puking. for reals.

the totally ironic thing is that our OBGYN prescribed zofran to mrs. nice guy. what's zofran? funny you should ask. zofran is a very, very, very, very strong anti-emetic for people coming out of surgery and, uh, chemo-fucking-therapy. also, dig this: zofran (did mr. nice guy mention that zofran is very, very, very, very freakin' strong?) has NEVER EVER NEVER BEEN TESTED ON PREGNANT WOMEN EVER. i mean, what the fuck? it's certainly being prescribed to pregnant women. (many of whom have, admittedly, seen no problems after giving birth. yet.) but did mr. nice guy mention that it
HAS NEVER BEEN TESTED. like, no clinical trials on pregnant humans. deeply unsettling. so mrs. nice guy is not taking that, but instead opting for a little trailer trash kitchen-cooked benedictin (fear not, freaky fans, she is cutting the dosage down to 25 percent of the amount STILL PRESCRIBED in europe and canada). sit tight and mr. nice guy will let you know if his kid is born with eight feet and no head.

think this is an unwarranted risk that the nice guys are taking? well, mrs. nice guy, whom we might have mentioned is pregnant, has LOST NINE POUNDS in two months of, you know, being pregnant. so fuck you.


15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 74 years old and have a wonderful son born in 1961 who is definitely all complete, in fact very intelligent and handsome. I took benedictin while I was pregnant because I was puking so much I could not take care of my other kids. It was a miracle to get rid of the nausea but there was one side effect. I would try to get off it periodically because usually the sickness only lasts 3 months or so.i found that the first new dose I took after a break always made me almost pass out .It would feel like a rabbit punch- quite nasty! I have always wondered if I took a risk taking it because of all the publicity about thalidamide so I was interested in your story. I live in Canada.

3/03/2005 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am ob/gyn practicing in the US. Benedictin was discussed when I was in training, and all ob/gyns know one can "produce" the same thing by mixing Unisom and vitamin B6 (or pyridoxine). It works well in many but not all. There are other medications that we consider safe, but these are not clinically tested to be safe. In this country, because of ethical reason, it is banned to test medication on pregnant women to see if it would have any teratogenic effects. So medications we prescribe to pregnant patients are "considered" safe in our best judgement. Another way of looking at it is we weigh the benefit of the medication against the potential risk to the mother and fetus. If we think the benefit outweighs the risk, then we prescribe. Zofran is considered safe although there are many cheaper alternatives. The important lesson is that most of the medications are probably safe during pregnancy and that some medications, such as thalidomide, we know are teratogenic. It may sound alarming, but there is no scientifically proven safe medication other than prenatal vitamins and thyroid medication, both of them Category A medications. Even Tylenol is Category B medication, which means this has not been tested on human beings.

11/16/2005 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took Diclectin (Cdn drug name for same drugs combo) from week 7 to week 40 of my pregnancy (without it, I was completely incapacitated by nausea and unable to stand the smell of food, let along eat it). In Canada, diclectin is the only 'Class A' drug for use in pregnancy -- proven safe. No daughter is perfect.

4/07/2006 5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typo. I meant to say MY daughter is perfect (hmm Freudian slip?)

4/07/2006 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I discovered unisom over the web and it works wonders for me! I researched a lot over the web about the safey record of this drug and was scared of possible birth defect, so I cut the dosage in half from 25mg to 12.5 mg and take it at midnignt when I get up to the bathroom. It works all through the morning when my morning sickness and motion sickness is the worst, and it has NO side effect whatsoever as long as you take it at night because it only cause sleepyness. I tried other drugs my doc prescribed and it caused bad side effect and didn't do much about my morning sickness, so I just gave up using them. Also, since I started morning sickness, I took two days off each week, so I work every other day. I only take unisom the night before I go work. It really safed my life. I think if you can, take it as less as possible, see how much will work for you, in my case 12.5mg seems good enough to help me through the most of the sickness. Good luck!

12/15/2006 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took Zofran during my entire pregnancy (after being hospitalized due to complications from my nausea) believing it to be safe for my unborn child. She is almost 3 now and has been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Delay. There is no way to say for certain that the 2 are linked, but I'll never know. I wish I had known of this other alternative. I would not recommend Zofran to anyone who is pregnant because I know now that its saftey has not been tested.

2/22/2007 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom took this when she was pregnant with my big sister in 1977. My sister was born missing a heart valve and died at the age of 26 in 2004. RUN, don't walk, away from Benedictin. Unless you're willing to gamble your child's life, its not worth it. I'm pregnant now, and taking nothing for morning sickness. I feel like crap, but at least I won't have to go through what my parents went through with my sister. Not to mention what I went through, losing my best friend in the world. I know morning sickness sucks, but having a child who goes in and out of the hospital for catherizations and heart surgery her entire childhood sucks even more. She spent her entire life on Coumadin and Digoxen and took no less than six pills a day. She never ran, swam, rode a bike, or got to be a "normal" kid. She should be 30 this year, but heck, at least I get to live with the notion that I'm now older than my big sister. So yeah, definitely avoid. This drug is EVIL, and I strongly believe that if forensic science were what it is today back in the 80's during the lawsuits held over this drug, the outcome would have been very different. It would be a tragedy to have to have a second round.

10/21/2007 10:08 PM  
Anonymous sweettooth said...

I took this medication while pregnant with my first daughter and she has had female problems all her life. this was one of the possible side effects of this medication. The bad thing is that I took the medicine and it never even helped me. I was so sick my doctor even doubled the dosage and it still didn't help me. I lost 32 pounds in 8 weeks. I can't help but wonder if this medicine has caused my daughter more pain and suffering than she should have ever had to deal with. i remember specifically that I could not take the medicine with my second pregnancy. I almost think my daughter should seek legal advice about what steps to take to see if she has a legal claim with this company. Her life has been chaos. She has had cyst numerous times on her ovaries, she lost her first baby due to female problems, her doctor has told her that basically her ovaries don't function, she has had endometreous, and the hormone imbalances have made her miserable. She has had so much trouble it could not be coincidence. My other daughter has had NO problems. I did not take the drug with any of my children except my first child. These problems began when she was just a child, so I am almost sure this drug did do damage to her in the womb. Right now the doctors tell her she probably cannot get pregnant anymore due to the shape her organs are in. If they are responsible for this they should have to make amends for this. I was 17 years old and doing what my doctor thought was safe, but was not.

2/05/2008 11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am pregnant for the 4th time and living in the US. My doctor suggested unisom and B6 to help with the nausea and vomiting. Unfortunately for me, I suffer from Hyperemesis Gravidarum (excessive and uncontrolable vomiting in pregnancy). In my last 2 pregnancies, Zofran was the only thing that helped. This time, nothing has worked. I have been in and out of the hospital and am currently taking 8 different meds to try to control it. My children are all healthy with no defects from taking Zofran at all. I know many many women who did unisom and B6 and their kids are all fine too. I say do what works for you.

4/12/2008 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was born in 1969. My mother took Benedictin for nausea while she was pregnant with me. Unfortunatly, I was born with birth defects. I am missing my right hand and right foot. I have memories of going to the NY Children's Hospital when I was young feeling grateful. My defects were mild compared to others, the worst being true basket caes, missing arms and legs, having their extremities protruding from their torsos. Being a father of two beautiful little girls, My wife and I made it our business to limit ANY drugs during her pregnancy.

Jut a word from the affected. Tke from it what you want.

10/31/2008 12:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Took Zofran during pregnancy - my son is now 4 yrs old, born with craniosynostosis (premature fusion of the skull bones), and later, autism. Hmmm...

10/27/2009 8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I took Zofran during pregnancy and my son, now 7, has had multiple problems like: Failure to Thrive, Oral Hypotomia, Global hypotomia, Autism, Irregular heart beat, did not talk till 3 1/2.... there is more.... Has anyone found out if they are linking this drug to these defects? Please answer, I will answer you if you do.
Debbie

5/18/2010 7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i took zofran during my pregnancy and my son is now 5 month and diagnosed with sagittal craniosynostosis i was wondering if this might have something to do with it and if there are more problems coming......(CB)

9/21/2011 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Took Zofran through my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies and both children aged 6 and 1 are fine. My only issue with Zofran is that it causes headaches. Whatever works best for you. I've tried unisom (plain), B6, Several small meals, Ginger root etc... Nothing but Zofran has worked for me.

6/16/2012 8:34 AM  
Blogger James Brown said...

Nice to read your article! I am looking forward to sharing your adventures and experiences.
Zofran birth defects lawsuit

8/26/2015 4:29 PM  

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