JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Understanding hyperemesis gravidarum

K Y Loh, N Sivalingam
Medical Journal of Malaysia 2005, 60 (3): 394-9; quiz 400
16379204
Nausea and vomiting are common in early pregnancy affecting 70-80 percent of pregnant mothers. In a majority of women vomiting begins between 4-7 weeks of pregnancy. Nausea and vomiting are usually mild and self-limiting, however some of the mothers have a more profound course which lead to hyperemesis gravidarum. Careful clinical evaluation is necessary to exclude underlying medical illnesses or non pregnancy related causes of severe vomiting. Hyperemesis gravidarum poses health risk to both mother and baby, therefore prompt treatment should be initiated without delay. Non pharmacotherapy such as dietary modification and emotional support are useful. Pharmacotherapy with antiemetics, pyridoxine, methylprednisolone are effective and relatively safe. Severe hyperemesis with dehydration and electrolyte imbalance may need hospitalisation for electrolyte and fluid replacement.

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