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Diclectin - Antihistamine (Doxylamine) and B6

Doxylamine is an antihistamine that has been shown to be effective in treating nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. In combination with pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) it was called Bendectin which has been shown to be effective in at least 3 randomised controlled trials. Although Bendectin had been used by 33 million pregnant ladies it was withdrawn by its manufacturer in the early 1980’s because of exhaustive defence costs against liability suits for foetal defects. Eventually all these legal cases against Bendectin, which went to court, were unsuccessful as it was found that Bendectin caused no increased risk for birth defects and was safe to use in pregnancy. Doxylamine and pyridoxine are now among the very few therapies that are classed as having no risk to the foetus. As no credible evidence of human or animal teratogenesis or other undesirable effects existed, a Canadian company began to make a generic form of doxylamine with pyridoxine in delayed release form (Diclectin) in 1984. This has been prescribed for the treatment of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy in Canada since then. The evidence based guidelines (approved by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada) state that Diclectin should be the initial treatment of choice since it has the greatest evidence to support its efficacy and safety.

It can be imported into the UK through the international pharmaceutical wholesalers IDIS (See Obtaining Diclectin) however, it is an expensive and difficult process and often unfeasible.

You can download a study about the safety and efficacy of doxylamine here. Further information is also available from the manufactures website and also from the Canadian Motherisk Website.