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Once-A-Day Pill Offers Safe, Effective Relief From Morning Sickness

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Morning sickness during pregnancy is no joke, but now there's a new and simple way to prevent it.

With her second pregnancy, Michelle Iddings finds her morning sickness harder to bear.

"I was nauseous every single day, and it was morning and night," Michelle said. "It's harder the second time around because I can't just take a nap whenever I want to."

She tried changing what she ate and when, but it wasn't working.

Luckily she had a doctor's appointment.

"I knew when I was going to the doctor's appointment that I was going to ask for something," she said.

She got a new drug, just recently FDA approved.

"There are many women, who just from being pregnant, are very sick, and to go about your normal daily functions, sometimes need some help," Dr. Deborah Lenart, an OBGYN at St. Clair Hospital, said.

Morning sickness is nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, typically in the first three months. The exact cause isn't clear, but it's thought to be a reaction to a pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. The body makes it at higher levels during the first trimester, more than at any other time in pregnancy.

Before trying medicines, doctors often recommend other measures.

"Anything from frequent snacking, ginger, peppermint, chewing gum," Dr. Lenart said.

bonjesta morning sickness
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

If that doesn't help, the next step would be medication. In the past, some medicines have been dangerous, or inconvenient, with multiple doses a day.

"It is hard to get a pregnant woman who is not feeling well to take four pills a day," Dr. Lenart said.

This new drug that Michelle is trying is called Bonjesta. It's extended release with the big advantage of its dosing schedule.

"You take it once in the evening, before you go to bed, and that's it," Michelle 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 then I sleep really well."

Basically, it's an antihistamine and vitamin B6. In studies, it was safe and effective.

Michelle has been taking samples and is doing great.

"So far, for the past couple weeks, I've been good, every single day," she said. "I forgot to take it one evening, and the next day I was miserable."

She plans to ask for a prescription at her next visit.

"It works that fast. You take it in the evening and you feel fine the next day, at least for me," Michelle said. "I'm just happy that I tried it early instead of suffering a lot longer."

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