“I’m so excited to be pregnant, but my morning sickness is making me miserable!” Even patients who are thrilled to be expecting are often taken aback by how sick they feel and the impact that morning sickness has on their daily lives.
Morning sickness is more common than you think
Unfortunately, morning sickness is very common. In fact, up to 85% of pregnant women experience nausea and/or vomiting. Symptoms can start as early as 4-6 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period and usually peak around 10 weeks. In 90% of women, symptoms resolve by week 14-16, but for about 10%, symptoms persist throughout pregnancy. Regardless of how long symptoms last, they can make even a few weeks feel like an eternity!
Impact of morning sickness
Although some mild nausea in early pregnancy is to be expected, morning sickness is often bad enough to affect a woman’s daily life. An estimated 30-40% of pregnant women find themselves unable to participate in family and social functions or perform their usual household tasks due to morning sickness.
Morning sickness can also have a major impact on job performance. It is hard to focus when you are fighting the urge to grab the nearest bucket! If symptoms are severe, they can even create a significant economic burden if a woman is too sick to work or requires hospitalization.
Diet and lifestyle changes can help
For my patients suffering from morning sickness, I recommend the following diet and lifestyle changes:
- Avoid having an empty stomach; have a small snack before getting out of bed
- Eat dry foods (soda crackers, plain toast) and avoid spicy, fatty, or strong-smelling foods
- Eat six small meals instead of three large ones and allow at least 30 minutes between fluids and solid food
- Drink ginger ale, ginger, lemon or mint tea, or other aromatic beverages
- Sip clear, cold, carbonated beverages or suck on popsicles or sour/ginger candies
- Avoid strong odors, loud noise, bright lights, and extreme heat/humidity
- Get as much rest as possible
For some women, these diet and lifestyle changes are enough to control their symptoms. Others are not so lucky.
If diet and lifestyle changes fail, safe and effective medication exists
Women who have tried changing their diet and lifestyle but are still suffering should tell their healthcare provider right away. Left untreated, morning sickness symptoms can get worse and cause excessive weight loss and dehydration, which could lead to hospitalization.
That is why, when diet and lifestyle changes do not work for my patients, I prescribe Bonjesta® (doxylamine succinate and pyridoxine hydrochloride). Bonjesta® is an FDA-approved prescription medication indicated to treat morning sickness when diet and lifestyle changes are not enough. Bonjesta® has not been studied in women with hyperemesis gravidarum or children under age 18. The most common side effect of Bonjesta is drowsiness.
I trust Bonjesta® because its combination of ingredients, doxylamine and pyridoxine, has been prescribed for over 60 years and used by over 35 million women worldwide to treat morning sickness when diet and lifestyle changes failed. This combination of ingredients has been shown to pose no increased risk to an unborn baby when taken during pregnancy.
For many years, I prescribed an earlier formulation of this drug combination. I recently started prescribing Bonjesta® because it contains the same combination of ingredients, but in a formulation designed to be fast acting and long lasting. Bonjesta® also has a simple, convenient dosing schedule: Start with one tablet by mouth at bedtime. If your nausea and vomiting is better controlled on Day 2, continue to take one tablet each day at bedtime. If you still have nausea and vomiting on Day 2, start taking one tablet in the morning and 1 tablet at bedtime each day. The maximum daily dose is just two tablets.
If you are pregnant and suffering from nausea and/or vomiting that is not well controlled by diet and lifestyle changes, do not wait. Talk to your doctor as soon as possible about whether Bonjesta® is right for you.
For US Residents Only.
WHAT IS BONJESTA®?
- Bonjesta® is a prescription medicine used to treat nausea & vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) in women who haven’t improved with change in diet/other non-medicine treatments.
- It isn’t known if Bonjesta® is safe & effective in women with severe NVP (hyperemesis gravidarum). Women with this condition may need to be hospitalized.
- It is not known if Bonjesta® is safe & effective in children under 18 years of age.
SELECT SAFETY INFORMATION
DON’T TAKE BONJESTA® IF YOU:
- are allergic to doxylamine succinate, other ethanolamine derivative antihistamines, pyridoxine HCl or any ingredients in Bonjesta® (see Patient Information for list of ingredients);
- take monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (ask your healthcare provider (HCP) or pharmacist if you aren’t sure if you take an MAOI).
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF BONJESTA®:
- The most common side effect of Bonjesta® is drowsiness.
- Don’t drive, operate heavy machinery or do other activities that need your full attention unless your HCP says you can.
- Don’t drink alcohol, or take other CNS depressants such as cough & cold medicines, certain pain medicines & medicines that help you sleep while taking Bonjesta®. Severe drowsiness can happen or become worse causing falls/accidents.
- Bonjesta® may cause false positive urine drug screening test for methadone, opiates & PCP.
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