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Saturday 22nd October 2016

The shadow of thalidomide

10th April 2007

The legacy of thalidomide lives on as pregnant women avoid medication as much as possible in pregnancy.

Fears over the risks to their unborn child mean many women are avoiding medication and suffering pain, discomfort, sickness and many other ailments as a result. Some doctors believe they are suffering unnecessarily and say fears around medication in pregnancy are exaggerated.

Thalidomide was given to women in the 1950s and 1960s to combat morning sickness but the drug caused 400 UK babies to be born disabled and was eventually withdrawn.  Some experts say that although Thalidomide’s excellent legacy was to tighten up the use of medication in pregnancy its negative effect has been that the medical profession can be overly cautious.  Dr Jim Kennedy from the Royal College of GPs' said, "We are being so careful that we might be denying women reasonable medication. To an extent, if you treated women like this when they were not pregnant you would not be treating them properly."

70% of women suffer nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and some become so severely dehydrated they need to be hospitalised.  Two doctors became so concerned about this that they set up the charity Pregnancy Sickness Support but their work has received little support as drug companies and health professionals are so concerned about risks to the foetus.  A spokesperson for the charity said, "Many ladies do not want to take a tablet in pregnancy for anything though they are suffering, and I am sure this is because of the thalidomide tragedy.â€?


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charles linskaill

Monday 16th April 2007 @ 22:59

Well its to be expected! The mistakes Health Ministers have made in the past cant be forgotten through the generations and I would dispute the figure that it was only 400 babies in the UK that were affected by Thalidomide.
But why cant Dr Jim Kennedy and the like see that it wasn't just Thalidomide that make women "not trust"?
What about Stilboestrol? Because breast feeding was out of fashion in the 1960s women were given this strong oestrogen to dry up breast milk and later developed breast cancer!
And what about the Health Minister who came on TV news with his children eating beef burgers and said "you can't get mad cow disease eating beef burgers" only to be proved so wrong years later!
I don't think in this day and age that a woman carrying "her baby to be" will just accept Doctors as "Gods" and do anything they say!!

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