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Bendectin returns as Diclegis

19-May-2014

The claim by William McBride and others in the 1970s that the antiemetic Bendectin (doxylamine 10 mg/pyridoxine 10mg) was teratogenic has been finally laid to rest with the FDA approval of Diclegis, an identical drug combination in a delayed release formulation. McBride’s claims had been taken seriously because of his acknowledged role in alerting people to the teratogenic effect of thalidomide, and in 1983 a barrage of lawsuits had persuaded Bendectin’s manufacturer Merrell Dow to withdraw the drug. But McBride was later found to have committed scientific fraud, the claims of teratogenesis did not stand up to scrutiny, and doxylamine/pyridoxine is an effective antiemetic.  

New Engl J Med 2014; 370; 1081-3

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1316042

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Commentaries by Editor Prof. Jim Thornton