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Kim Kardashian, a Doctor Now? Here’s What Happened with Kim’s Post.

If you have watched, read, or listened to the news lately, you must have heard about the recent controversy including, yes, a Kardashian. Specifically, Kim Kardashian. The starlet, who has millions of social media followers, recently posted a photo to Instagram holding a bottle of prescription drug Diclegis and praising its ability to help alleviate morning sickness. As a mommy to two beautiful boys (my 5 year old and baby), I had some strong opinions about this.

Kim Kardashian Instagram | Diceglis | FDA | Misbranding | Celebrity Endorsement | SkinCare by Alana | Morning Sickness | Morning Sickness Medication

Though the posting has since been removed, Kim raved about the drug, stating that studies proved that there was no increased risk to your baby while taking it. The posting also including the disclaimer that she would be partnering with the manufacturer of the drug, Duchesnay USA, to help “raise awareness about treating morning sickness”. The FDA responded by issuing a letter of warning to Duchesnay USA, citing the post as misbranding.

Kim Kardashian Instagram | Diceglis | FDA | Misbranding | Celebrity Endorsement | SkinCare by Alana | Morning Sickness | Morning Sickness MedicationHow is this “misbranding”, you ask? While a lot of what Kim stated in her post was true (the drug has, in fact, been studied to be safe for mother and baby, and has been FDA approved), she completely failed to list any associated risk. While people are, of course, entitled to conduct their own research, they are getting the impression (from a celebrity) that there are only positives, and no negatives.

The most common side effect of Diclegis is drowsiness, and users are advised to steer clear of any activity that requires their full attention, until cleared by their physician. Diclegis also has some contraindications when it comes to drug interactions and allergies, and has the potential for delayed side effects (including symptoms of overdose) due to its time-release design.

What Exactly is Diclegis? The controversy piqued my interest in this drug, and I wanted to share what I found out about it with you. Diclegis is currently the only FDA-approved prescription medication for morning sickness (also known as NVP, or Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy). Though the drug is approved for morning sickness, it has not been studied in women living with hyperemesis gravidarum, the most severe form of NVP. Though there are other drugs prescribed to treat morning sickness during pregnancy, Diclegis is the only one that is Pregnancy Category A, meaning studies have shown that the medicine is not a risk to the baby. This drug uses a delayed-release formula that helps to prevent morning sickness symptoms ahead of time, and can work for an average of 5-7 hours.

Kim Kardashian Instagram | Diceglis | FDA | Misbranding | Celebrity Endorsement | SkinCare by Alana | Morning Sickness | Morning Sickness Medication

I can certainly understand the desire to suppress morning sickness, because less than a year ago I was living with it! While I can appreciate that Kim took the time to tell users to ask their doctor about the drug, it also puts fear in me that so many people would be so quick to ask for something without knowing the risks, simply because a celebrity endorsed it.

Kim Kardashian Instagram | Diceglis | FDA | Misbranding | Celebrity Endorsement | SkinCare by Alana | Morning Sickness | Morning Sickness MedicationWhat’s worse is that many people believe that celebrities endorse drugs (or any product) out of sheer appreciation. While this is definitely true in some cases, in most it is not. When asked about the details of their partnership (pay, post, etc.) with Miss Kardashian, the drug company issued a response that the details were private, leading myself (and many other’s) to believe that the partnership was nothing but a promotional act.

My Personal Experience. I had really bad morning sickness while pregnant with both of my boys, and though I knew there was medicine (and came very close to taking some, especially when more was coming out then coming in). In the end though, I didn't. In the back of my mind I just didn't want to take something, just in case there were dangerous side effects to my baby that had yet to be discovered.

How many drugs have been recalled? There have been so many instances where we found out later the true effects some drugs can have. In the late 50's, there was a drug that was used to help prevent miscarriages. My best friends dad, Edwin, was the result of his mom taking that drug. They later found that women who had taken the drug had babies who were at a higher risk for cancer as an adult. Ed had a brain tumor, testicular cancer, and died in his early 50's from pancreatic cancer. This has stayed with me my whole life, and is the reason I just deal with my morning sickness using natural remedies that have been working for years. You may not know this, but there was a time people when doctors promoted cigarettes on TV! As time goes on, discoveries are made.

Celebrity Endorsement: A Marketing Ploy?

As I mentioned before, there are certain instances where celebrities will post about something they absolutely love. I am not discrediting celebs 100%, they are just like us, and like to share a good thing when they find it. But they also have larger followers and heavy influence, which is where the ability to “share” becomes dangerous. The sad truth is, many celebrity endorsements are a flat out lie. If you were to place a bet as to whether or not the celeb uses or loves the product they are endorsing, odds are the person voting “no” is going to win.

A good example? Remember when Beyoncé became a Pepsi spokesperson? This sparked a bit of controversy because it came about the same time that she was partnering with Michelle Obama to promote healthier habits and lifestyles. Let’s be totally honest, the odds of Beyoncé loving Pepsi (or at least adopting it into her lifestyle) are rather low.

Think about all of the box hair dye commercials you see on TV. How many of those lovely actresses do you think actually use the product in the box? A special (salon quality) formulation from the brand? Possibly. But the actual hair dye in the box? Unlikely.

How to Protect Yourself from These Marketing Ploys

There are two easy answers to this question: the first is be to weary, and the second is to conduct your research. If it seems like an unlikely partnership, it probably is not a true endorsement at all. Remember, these celebrities are paid generously for their influence and reach, not necessarily their honest opinions. If you can find the answers you seek via research, then fantastic! If you can’t, well, you will have to make an informed decision for yourself.

In the end, it is important to remember: what works for one person may not necessarily work for you. It is so crucial to always do your research, and to consult with your physician about whether or not a drug might be right for you (as opposed to simply requesting it).

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