Thalidomide was once a household name but. Now over 100 australian victims recently settled a class action suit for 81 million.
Thalidomide which was used in the 1960s to treat morning sickness caused many children to be born with defects.
Morning sickness pill deformed babies. But there are other individuals sick individuals who are not babies that have derived benefit from the deadly morning sickness pill we call thalidomide. There are still former thalidomide babies in various countries who remind us just how devastating such use was. But so did some.
Thalidomide sold under the brand names contergan and thalomid among others is a medication used to treat a number of cancers including multiple myeloma graft versus host disease and a number of skin conditions including complications of leprosy. Possible birth defects include phocomelia dysmelia amelia bone hypoplasticity and other congenital defects affecting the ear heart or internal organs. The birth defects caused by the drug thalidomide can range from moderate malformation to more severe forms.
1961 an australian doctor william mcbride writes to the lancet medical journal after noticing an increase in the number of deformed babies. Since 1956 an estimated 30 million pregnant women have taken or have had at hand a drug mixture for morning sickness named bendectin. While it has been used in a number of hiv associated conditions such use is associated with increased levels of the virus.
1958 thalidomide is first licensed for use in the uk. The best known example of birth defects being caused by hazardous substances in the uk remains the babies born in the late 1950s and early 1960s with deformities caused by their mothers taking the. Some gave birth to malformed children.
In 1961 mcbride began to associate this so called harmless compound with severe birth defects in the babies he delivered. In the late 1950s and 60s thalidomide was used as a sedative and a medication to cope with morning sickness. Scientists have finally discovered why a drug that was commonly prescribed as a quick cure for morning left thousands of babies with major birth defects.
Unfortunately the pharmaceutical company covered up blatant safety concerns which resulted in thousands of deformed thalidomide babies across the world. The drug interfered with the babies normal development causing many of them to be born with phocomelia resulting in shortened absent or flipper like limbs. Otisarchives3 cc by 2 0 pregnant women in the 1950s and 60s may have looked to the morning sickness drug thalidomide to ease symptoms.