A new study finds that a drug used to ease nausea in pregnant women in Israel, did not lead to an increase in birth defects.
Researchers looked back at nearly 82,000 births in Israel, where the drug (metoclopramide) is commonly used. It found no differences in birth defects or other problems in newborns of women, whether or not they took the drug. It's sold as Reglan, and also in generic form.
Currently, no drugs are approved in the U.S. for morning sickness, which plagues most women early in pregnancy.
Experts say this study may encourage wider use of the drug, and provide relief for women who suffer from severe nausea during the first three months of pregnancy.
Doctors sometimes use medicines that have been approved for other types of nausea that are thought to be safe in pregnancy -- if simpler strategies such as eating crackers or eating frequent, small meals don't do the trick.
Results of the study appear in the New England Journal of Medicine.