Toronto Doctor Voices Concern Over Popular Morning Sickness Drug

A journal published this week calls into question a clinical trial from 1975 that contributed to the prescribing of Diclectin.

Have you taken Diclectin?

If you experienced morning sickness during your pregnancy, there’s a good chance your doctor prescribed it to you.

The medication, “used in half of Canadian pregnancies that result in live births, is the only prescription drug authorized by Health Canada to treat nausea and vomiting in pregnant women.”

But despite its extensive use for several decades, a Toronto doctor claimed in a paper published this week that the morning sickness drug is not backed by good evidence.

Dr. Nav Persaud, a family physician at St. Michael’s hospital in Toronto, called into question the efficacy of Diclectin in his research article, published in the online journal PLOS One.

In it, Persaud unveils a never-before-published clinical trial from the 1970s, concluding that “the prescribing of this medication should not be based on this trial.

Dr. Persaud found several flaws in the 1975 trial, which enrolled 2,308 patients who were in their first 12 weeks of pregnancy. He perceived a high risk of bias, found excluded data after the U.S Commissioner of Food and Drugs questioned its integrity, and noted that a high number of patients did not complete the one-week trial.

While the trial was never published, Health Canada’s approval of this drug was based on the study. Dr. Persaud said to CTV News in a phone interview, “I think there is a question about whether this (drug) works at all.

An FDA spokesperson said “the agency is examining the new study’s findings, adding that the U.S. regulator’s determination that the drug is safe and effective “remains unchanged.”

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