NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A new medication offers relief from morning sickness, the awful nausea and vomiting that often strikes women in the first trimester of pregnancy.
The term “morning sickness” is really a bit of a misnomer, because it can hit any time of the day or night.
Michelle Iddings found her morning sickness harder to bear during her second pregnancy.
“I was nauseous every single day. And it was morning and night,” Iddings said. “It’s harder the second time around, because I can’t just take a nap whenever I want to.”
Iddings tried the usual remedies: Changing when – and what – she ate, including ginger, peppermint and chewing gum, but nothing worked.
“I knew when I was going to the doctor’s appointment that I was going to ask for something,” she said.
It’s not clear what causes the nausea and vomiting of morning sickness, but it’s thought to be a reaction to a pregnancy hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, or HCG. The body makes it at higher levels during the first trimester of pregnancy.
“There are many women, who just from being pregnant, are very sick. And to go about your normal daily functions, so sometimes need some help,” said Dr. Deborah Lenart, OBGYN.
In the past, some morning sickness medicines have been dangerous or inconvenient, with multiple doses a day, reported CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez.
“It is hard to get a pregnant woman who is not feeling well to take four pills a day,” said Lenart.
What Iddings got was a new drug called Bonjesta, just recently FDA approved. Its extended release gives it the big advantage of a convenient dosing schedule.
“You take it once on the evening, before you go to bed, and that’s it,” Iddings said. “I found that one of the ‘side effects’ of it is that it can make you drowsy. But I found that to be to my benefit. Because I take it in the evening, and sleep really well.”
Bonjesta is a prescription combination of an antihistamine and vitamin B6. In studies, it was shown to be effective in controlling the nausea and vomiting of morning sickness.
“So far, for the past couple weeks, I’ve been good, every single day,” Iddings said. “I forgot to take it one evening, and the next day I was miserable.”
Antihistamines are commonly given to cancer patients to help control the nausea that comes with chemotherapy, but because antihistamines can make you drowsy, driving or operating machinery is not recommended while taking Bonjesta.