Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy (NVP)
Author: Dr Richard Chen
Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy (NVP) is a common presentation seen by a wide variety of medical professionals however the evidence around the safety and efficacy of drugs used to treat NVP is often not well understood. This review looks to explore current prescribing practices of drugs used to treat NVP and provide evidence-based recommendations.
The current New Zealand Guidelines for treatment of NVP was studied and an in-depth literature search into the safety and efficacy of drugs available was conducted.
In addition, a survey of current doctors working in the Urgent Care setting was conducted to determine current prescribing habits.
Pyridoxine, Doxylamine and Metoclopramide are the medications with the most proven safety profile in pregnancy respectively. There have been significant studies into the Pyridoxine-Doxylamine combination as well as Metoclopramide to demonstrate effectiveness against placebo. However, there is insufficient evidence to suggest any drug is the most effective drug available.
A large proportion of prescribing preferences of the doctors working in Urgent Care surveyed in the context of treating NVP were not supported by the available evidence.
Considering both safety and efficacy, Pyridoxine and Doxylamine are the recommended initial drugs of choice to manage NVP. This is closely followed by Metoclopramide. More doctors working in the acute medical setting should be aware of the potential teratogenicity of drugs used to treat NVP.