Vomiting in Pregnancy

Several years ago, I was called in consultation to meet a physician, who anticipated that an artificial abortion was necessary, as the prospective mother was in the third month of pregnancy, and vomiting was extreme, emaciation becoming very marked. I watched several attacks of the vomiting, and could plainly see that it was essentially a reflex spasm of the structures involved in the process of emesis.

I at once advised against the contemplated abortion, and advised that gelsemium be given in ten drop doses, repeated every three hours. The suggestion was adopted, and when the stomach refused to retain the medicine, it was given with the hypodermic syringe, and repeated until the eyelids began to droop. As a result there was prompt relief of the vomiting. I often meet a strong healthy boy on the streets, and think to myself, you owe your existence to the suggestion that I made, while the other fellow is getting the credit.

In the average cases of vomiting in pregnancy, and especially those where I am asked to prescribe without seeing the patient, I have found that the best all-around remedy is, the compound powder of rhubarb and potash, which I keep in tablet form, and direct that a tablet be taken before each meal. This remedy is efficient in those cases characterized by acidity of the stomach, and those in which constipation is a prominent factor.

"Magna est Veritas, et praevalebit."


Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.