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Thalidomide

Thalidomide

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Thalidomide (/θəˈlɪdəmd/; from phthalimido-glutarimide.[2] Currently marketed under the brand namesImmunoprinTalidexTalizerThalomid) is an immunomodulatory drug and the prototype of the thalidomide class of drugs. It was first marketed in 1957 in West Germany under the trade-name Contergan. The German drug company Chemie Grünenthal (now Grünenthal) developed and sold the drug. Primarily prescribed as asedative or hypnotic, thalidomide also claimed to cure “anxiety, insomnia, gastritis, and tension".[3] Afterwards it was used against nausea and to alleviate morning sickness in pregnant women. Thalidomide became an over the counter drug in Germany on October 1, 1957. Shortly after the drug was sold, in Germany, between 5,000 and 7,000 infants were born with phocomelia (malformation of the limbs). Only 40% of these children survived.[4][dead link] Throughout the world, about 10,000 cases were reported of infants with phocomelia due to thalidomide; only 50% of the 10,000 survived. Those subjected to thalidomide while in the womb experienced limb deficiencies in a way that the long limbs either were not developed or presented themselves as stumps. Other effects included deformed eyes and hearts, deformed alimentary and urinary tracts, blindness and deafness.[5] The negative effects of thalidomide led to the development of more structured drug regulations and control over drug use and development.[6]