If you have nausea and vomiting while you are pregnant, your healthcare provider may prescribe Diclegis. This drug is specifically designed to treat "morning sickness" in women who are 7 to 14 weeks pregnant. It comes as a tablet that is taken one to four times a day. Clinical studies have shown that drowsiness is the most commonly reported side effect of this drug.
What Is Diclegis?
Diclegis® (doxylamine and pyridoxine) is a prescription medication approved to treat nausea and vomiting during pregnancy ("morning sickness") that has not adequately responded to dietary and lifestyle changes. It contains a combination of doxylamine, an antihistamine medication, and pyridoxine, which is vitamin B6.
In clinical studies, Diclegis was shown to reduce nausea and vomiting of pregnancy in women who were between 7 and 14 weeks gestation. In these studies, women who were given Diclegis had a greater improvement in their nausea and vomiting symptoms after two weeks of treatment than those given a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients). This included a reduction in the number of times a day they vomited or heaved, and how many hours they felt nauseous during the day.
How Does Diclegis Work?
It is not known how Diclegis works to relieve nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. As mentioned, the medication contains a combination of doxylamine, an antihistamine, and pyridoxine, a form of vitamin B6. Pyridoxine helps relieve mild-to-moderate nausea, but does not reduce vomiting. Doxylamine, on the other hand, can help reduce vomiting.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Diclegis [package insert]. Bryn Mawr, PA: Duchesnay USA, Inc.;2013 April.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) news release. FDA approves Diclegis for pregnant women experiencing nausea and vomiting (April 8, 2013). Available at http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm347087.htm. Accessed May 25, 2013.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed May 25, 2013.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB. Accessed May 25, 2013.
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