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The Effects Of Thalidomide And Its Effects On Children

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Thalidomide Paper Thalidomide is a drug that was invented in Germany in the 1950’s. It was originally intended to treat respiratory infections but during testing, it was noted that the drug worked to relieve morning sickness for pregnant women. This new reason allowed the drug to be prescribed to many new patients all over the world. Eventually Thalidomide was discovered to be causing birth defects in all of the pregnant women that were taking it. It caused the fetus to not develop correctly by causing limbs of the body or ears to develop improperly or not develop at all. It also cause spinal cord and digestive system defects as well as problems to the heart and kidneys. Thalidomide stopped being prescribed but not before many children and families were affected worldwide who had taken the drug. It took a couple of years before other countries caught up to realize that thalidomide was causing the birth defects and removed from being an over the counter drug in many countries. It wasn’t until 1961 that it was completely removed after it was confirmed that it was causing birth defects. More than 10000 babies were born with defects and approximately killed 2000 before birth, but fewer than 100 were born here in the U.S.
Short term effects included possible still born babies, and children with many health problems and complications that severely impacted their quality of life. How much damage the Thalidomide did to the fetus depended on how early on the mother took the drug.
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