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Side Effects Of The Drug Thalidomide

664 words - 3 pages

Thalidomide was a popular drug used by many pregnant women in the 1950’s and 1960’s as a sedative. As stated by the Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada (2014),“The German drug company Chemie Grünenthal created Thalidomide to reduce the symptoms in pregnant patients experiencing morning sickness.”“After women taking thalidomide delivered their babies, it was evident that there was very severe and noticeable abnormalities.These birth defects were severely life changing with the children having underdeveloped and/or missing limbs, referred to as phocomelia or “nubs””(Kim, J. H., Scialli, A.R., 2011) “Phocomelia is known as a severe shortening of the limbs where the long bones are shorter than normal and more proximal elements are lost, such that in extreme cases the hand or fingers are attached directly to the shoulder”(Tabin, 2004). Thalidomide was soon taken away from public use, leaving families with quite a different life than predicted.
The Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada Stated (2014) that “at first, it was unknown that thalidomide could even travel through the placenta and to the fetus, but as soon as babies with cases of phocomelia were discovered, it was realized that Thalidomide was the cause.”“This drug ended up having the ability to inhibit the formation of blood vessels”(Rout U.K., 2006). When the fetus is developing it grows rapidly, this means it needs a proper blood supply. “Therefore, having a drug, such as thalidomide that inhibits blood vessel formation, the amount of development would be restricted due to lack of blood and nutrients to the fetus.The lack of development, in the limbs in particular, made the birth defect extremely noticeable and problematic”(Rout U.K., 2006). Although this event became known as the “Thalidomide Tragedy” for a reason, researchers are hoping to use the information to find something good out of that misfortune.
“Researchers have ran with the idea that if Thalidomide can inhibit the growth of blood vessels, then it might be able to prevent the formation of blood vessels...

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