Thalidomide is a medication that was initially prescribed during the 1950s and early 1960s, primarily as a mild sleeping aid and a remedy for morning sickness in pregnant women. Tragically, its use during pregnancy resulted in severe birth defects, most notably phocomelia, a condition characterized by limb malformation. This medical catastrophe served as a catalyst for the establishment of the WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring, emphasizing the need for rigorous drug safety regulations and monitoring.
In a surprising twist, Thalidomide has re-emerged in the medical field as a treatment for certain cancers and a complication of leprosy. Its controlled use in these specific medical contexts showcases the careful oversight and regulation now in place to prevent the devastating effects seen during its initial widespread prescription.
Confounding by Indication
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