In 1954, a German pharmaceutical company wanted to develop an inexpensive antibiotic. The resulting drug was called thalidomide. Initially, the drug was developed as an anticonvulsant, but patients noted that it had a rather sedative and sedative effect. The developers of the drug managed to convince the commission of its effectiveness, and the drug went on mass sale.
In 1958, a pharmaceutical company sent a letter stating that thalidomide has a beneficial effect on pregnant and lactating mothers. In commercials, they immediately began to promote the drug as the best tool for pregnant women, but there were no additional tests. Thalidomide helped cope with insomnia, excitement, and nausea. In 1959, the company began to receive letters about the side effects of the drug.
Back in 1956, an employee whose wife was taking the medicine had a child without ears, but the company had nothing to do with the use of thalidomide. But the number of children born with disabilities grew, but only in 1961 the drug was withdrawn from production. The most common consequence of the use of the drug was the absence of hands, ears or lower limbs.
The drug was used not only in Germany, but throughout the measure. It is estimated that 12,000 children were victims of thalidomide. In addition, 40,000 received peripheral neuritis. Of the 12,000 children, only 5,000 survived, but remained lifelong with developmental disabilities.
This sad page of German history often remains the default. But it is very important to know that all medications can have side effects, so they must be taken as directed by a doctor.