4.22.2009

Morning Sickness Medicine

I typed this up as an email to send to a friend and then decided I should post it in case someone else might need it. And that, Ragan, is another reason why I like having a blog :)

There are three levels of nausea medicines that doctors in Cache Valley prescribe. The first one is called Bendoxy or Doxylamine/Pyridox (generic). These are usually prescribed in 10 mg capsules and you can take one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and two at night. They won't do anything to help severe nausea, but can be useful in conjunction with other pills or as you start feeling a little better. Bendoxy is actually a combination of Vitamin B6 and Unisom that you can make yourself, but much easier to get in capsule form from Spence's Pharmacy. Bendoxy has an FDA pregnancy rating B, meaning there is no evidence of risk in humans.

The next one is called Phenergan or Promethazine (generic). These are prescribed in 25 mg tablets. They will knock you out. I have memories of taking Phenergan and then locking myself in Rachel's room and falling asleep on the floor while she played with her toys. Most people I know only take them at night. If you can't keep any medicine down, Phenergan is also available as a suppository. Phenergan has a FDA pregnancy rating of C, which means that risk can not be ruled out. It used to really bother me that I was required by my insurance to use a C drug before I could get Zofran, which has a B rating.

Zofran is the miracle drug. Most doctors won't prescribe this until you have tried the first two medications because that's what it will take to get your insurance to cover it. These are usually prescibed in 4 mg or 8 mg. If you get on Zofran, you want to be sure to get another one in your system before the first one wears off. (Probably every eight hours.) The pills used to cost $15 each, which really added up at three pills per day. Then Cache Valley Pharmacy started making their own (somehow slightly different generic version) but they still cost me $600 per month, after insurance. And then one miraculous day, they just started charging me less. Now Zofran is available in generic form as Ondansetron and should be much more affordable.

The best home-remedy I found was ginger, but most ginger pills don't really have enough ginger in them to be very effective. There is a drink called Reed's Natural Ginger Ale. The regular version has 17 grams of ginger in it and the extra strength has something like 26 grams. I would drink half a bottle or so (it's very strong and kind of gross) when I started feeling like I was going to throw up or right after. I recommend this stuff to everyone I know who is pregnant. It's almost as if it is so strong that it burns your throat and stomach enough to ease the nausea so you can get some food down. It should still be available at Smith's Marketplace or Shangri La, but you can also look them up online at www.reedsgingerbrew.com. They come in the green glass bottles shown above and are sold in four-packs for $4. I tried some of the candy too because glass bottles that look like beer aren't always convenient to carry around. . . especially if people know you are pregnant. The ginger ale never sounded good, and I never wanted to drink it, but Steve would make me and then I would feel better.

Other tips:
Always have snacks with you.
Eat a little bit all day (and night) long, even when you don't want to.
Don't eat things you don't want to throw up. (Like the BBQ Chicken Salad from Hamilton's)

Good foods to try:
Lemon or lime flavored popsicles (make your own)
Lipton Noodle Soup
Snapple a Day (or other meal replacement beverage)
Goldfish crackers

12 comments:

Stephanie said...

Zofran was made by Randy's company. If you ever want to know the reason they have to charge soooo much from some drugs and hardly any for others, let me know and I'll give you the shpeal. Most people think it's to gouge people of their hard earned money, but that just isn't the case!!! I'm glad it worked for you. It worked for my cousin as well.

Rachael said...

Oh Emily, I know much too much about all of these meds right now. I took the Bendoxy with Lauren and it didn't help at all. Then I took the Phenergan and it knocked me out cold. With Brooklyn I made it through with nothing, with Ally I took Reglan, and right now I'm taking Ondansetron and Phenergan suppositories. I wish the Zofran was a miracle drug for me, but it's not everyday. I still have good days and bad days. Yuck!

Katie said...

Ah Emily...you have no idea how happy I was to see this post! As I sit in bed with this BLAH feeling, it's great to see some ideas to help. The Unisom/B6 remedy has worked....until now. Suddenly things are taking a turn for the worse. I'll try some of the other tips now and see how it goes. Thanks again!

Katie said...

P.S. haha, loved the "Don't eat things you don't want to throw up. (Like the BBQ Chicken Salad from Hamilton's)" I take it you have experience with this? :)

Katie said...

Update....my doctor just prescribed me Phenergan...and I'm glad you warned that it will knock me out. I asked the nurse if it will make me sleepy, and she said, "It might, a little." Ha...tell that to 20 third graders tomorrow that are jumping on their desks as I am dead asleep at my desk! I think I'd better try it tonight to see how I react. She said she can give me a different prescription if it makes me too tired. Sounds like I'll be calling again tomorrow!

The Ballard's said...

I would just like to say that Rice Krispys taste the same both directions:)

Chris and Amy Jackson said...

Hi I found your blog through my cousins. I hope you don't mind me commenting. I have had 3 children and been pregnant 5 times, and with every pregnancy I throw up the ENTIRE time. Finally with my third baby after 14 weeks and a 10 lb weight loss, my dr gave me zofran. It was a gift from heaven!!! It totally got me through taking care of 2 little boys, doing day care, and cleaning houses at night up until my 32nd week. Thanks for all the info!

Lisa Lou said...

Hey I feel really bad for all those prego gals. It makes me remember why I am done having kids. (Who knows though. When you play with fire sometimes you get burned:) And I don't know why I wasn't headed right to the Sonora Grill. It would have fixed my shocking lack of Mexican. To bad it wasn't Tue that we came home!! Thanks Emily!!

Josh McFarland said...

I am shocked that it takes so long to get Zofran. Yes it is available as a generic now which we carry (and use almost daily) on our ambulance. They make dissolvable pills that you don't have to chew or swallow (4 mg each). Zofran is great because it has almost no side effects; it was developed to treat people on chemotherapy. Although I will never be pregnant, the ginger trick is good to know.

The Conlins said...

This post brings back lots of bad memories in the very distant past. Back then I was told morning sickness was all in my head and that I was sick because I expected it. About the only drug given was bendectin, which didn't help much and was later said to cause birth defects. I put a pillow on the bathroom floor next to the toilet in the morning and would be there when Reed came home from work. He'd ask what he could do to help and I'd tell him to get the gun and shoot me. I'd have to have IVs because of dehydration. I puked on the operating table as they were tying me down for a c-section. They yelled at me because I 'broke the sterile field.' My heart goes out to all who suffer with morning sickness especially when it lasts all day and all pregnancy long. I have empathy for you. P.S. Carnation instant breakfasts tasted the same going down and coming up provided I'd puke them up when they were still cold. Funny how I'd remember something so dumb.

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