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Medicines to Use for Nausea During Pregnancy

By Gail Morris ; Updated June 13, 2017

Nausea is common in the first trimester of pregnancy. Physicians recommend you first start with dietary and lifestyle changes to treat your condition. However, when you suffer from continued vomiting, begin to lose weight, vomit after eating or drinking, vomit blood or are at risk of dehydration, it is time to call your doctor and discuss medication options. Do not take any over-the-counter or herbal remedies when you are pregnant without first checking with your physician.


Reglan is also known as metoclopramide. It has been available as a prescription drug since June 1985, but it was not until June 2009 that scientists proved in a large clinical study that it was safe for use during pregnancy. Researchers Matok and Gorodischer published their study in the New England Journal of Medicine. “The Safety of Metoclopramide Use in the First Trimester of Pregnancy” proved that exposure to the drug in the first trimester did not increase the risk of congenital malformation, low birth weight or perinatal death.

Compazine and Thorazine

Antiemetic medications are suggested for use when dietary changes and other medications have not been useful. Compazine and Thorazine are the two drugs in this category recommended by the American Academy of Family Physicians. These medications can cause drowsiness, dizziness or blurred vision, so do not use heavy machinery, drive a car or work around sharp objects when using this medication.


In the 1970s, a combination medication was approved by the FDA for treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, Bendectin is a combination of Vitamin B6 and doxylamine that was shown not to increase the risk of birth defects. However, in 1983 the manufacturer voluntarily withdrew it from the market. It is still available in Canada under the name Diclectin or can be compounded by a pharmacy in the United States with a physician's prescription.


According to pharmacy clinical specialist Gerald Briggs, the drug Zofran is an effective anti-nausea drug for pregnant woman. Zofran was originally designed and manufactured for individuals undergoing chemotherapy to control their nausea and vomiting. While it is effective for your nausea during pregnancy, it is also expensive, and many insurance companies will not cover the cost for use in pregnancy.


Once nausea and vomiting increase your risk of harming your developing baby, your physician will recommend you are hospitalized. There, you will receive IV fluids and IV medications. If you are unable to keep food in your stomach with these treatments, you will also receive nutrition through your IV tube to help feed your body and your baby. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the medication of choice in this situation is Droperidol. It has been one of the most effective anti-nausea drugs available. In combination with diphenhydramine, physicians have found you have shorter hospitalizations for uncontrolled nausea and vomiting and fewer re-admissions.

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