Talidomid - the medicine which has become history and is unfortunately far not because differs high quality or the expressed medical effect. Though the effect, undoubtedly, is: during the period from 1956 to 1962 in a number of the countries of the world was born, by different calculations, from 8000 to 12 000 children with the congenital uglinesses caused by that mothers accepted preparations талидомида during pregnancy. 7 thousand babies have died the first minutes of life. Perhaps, it is one of the most scandal stories connected with side effects from any preparation.
All has begun that in 1954 the German pharmaceutical company Chemie Grunenthal has developed an anticonvulsive preparation талидомид (thalidomide). In 1955 it has informally sent free samples of new medicine to a number of doctors of Germany and Switzerland for clinical check. Testing has shown that anticonvulsive from талидомида it has not turned out at all, but soothing left excellent. Action of tablets has impressed many physicians, after all it was obviously allocated against work of hypnotic drugs applied at that time. Safety of overdose was especially noted. The world pharmaceutics has at that time counted the invention of this preparation as the real break in treatment of frustration of a dream. And as was not to count, after all the person instantly plunged into a healthy and absolutely natural somnolence. The unknown positive effect was observed at the pregnant women inclined to frustration such.
Certainly, have been carried out as well animal experiments. They, first of all, have confirmed that anticonvulsive properties талидомид does not possess. Besides, overdose did not kill experimental small animals that has allowed to consider a preparation safe. However medicine on mice did not render sedative influence, therefore representatives of the Chemie Grunenthal company for demonstration of it had to make a special cage which served for measurement of the slightest movements of animals. In spite of the fact that having a tail after reception of pills were awake, their movements were slowed down more than at those animals whom entered other sedatives. The commission was convinced of efficiency and safety of the offered tablets and has given the licence for production.
In 2 years after that, in 1957, the preparation has been officially put on the market in Germany under the name Contergan, in April, 1958 in Great Britain - under the name Distaval. Besides, талидомид Asmaval - against asthma was delivered on the market as a part of medicines for the most different cases, for example, to Tensival - against the raised blood pressure, Valgraine - against migraine. In total, талидомид was on sale in 46 countries under 37 different names. Any additional independent researches of a preparation in one country it was not carried out.
In 1958 producers have allowed most important, fatal, a mistake: they have declared that тилидомид - the best means for pregnant women. By itself, the small companies were instantly hooked for this idea and have constructed on it the advertising company of a demulcent. By 61st year dangerous tablets became one of the most sold among sedative preparations, and in Germany have at all come out on top. The unique heroine in this scandal story has appeared the American doctor Francis O. Kelsey, involved in procedure of licensing of medicine. She was guarded by insufficiency of research base and that fact that the producer held back possible development of the peripheral neuritis provoked by reception of sleeping pill. Despite pressure from pharmacists, Frances has not approved a preparation and has forbidden its exit to the market of the USA. By itself, during that moment she yet did not suspect, how many lives have rescued, having made of such decision.
As events developed further, you already know. Unknown splash in the birth of kids with various uglinesses has stirred up the public. The child without ears was born on December 25, 1956 even in a family of the employee of «Chemie Grunenthal» as that "treated" the pregnant wife yet not let out officially talidomidy, borrowed on work. The medicinal substance which was earlier widely used as a sedative, has appeared the extremely dangerous. Doctors with delay have realised: if the woman takes these pills during the first three months of pregnancy, it can lead to formation of defects of development of a fruit among which most often meets nedorazvity extremities. The critical period for a fruit - 34-50 days after the last periods at future mother (from 20 to 36 days after conception). The probability of appearance of the child with physical uglinesses appears after reception of only one tablet талидомида in this period. Among the most widespread external manifestations are allocated defects or lack of the top or bottom extremities, lack of auricles, defects of eyes and mimic muscles. Besides, талидомид influences formation of an internal, with destructive image affecting heart, a liver, kidneys, digestive and urinogenital systems, and also can lead in some cases to the birth of children with deviations in intellectual development, epilepsy, autism. Terrifies not less that these physical uglinesses can be handed down. It was declared by representatives of English Society of victims талидомида. As the proof they have given 15-year-old Rebecca's history, granddaughters of the woman accepting талидомид. The girl was born with the truncated handles and three fingers on each hand - the typical ugliness connected with this preparation. Just the same changes were observed and at children who were born during the first wave of use of medicine.
The most surprising that by the end of the 60th years the preparation has returned again on the market. Now талидомид it is applied to treatment of leprosy, a multiple myeloma and other serious oncological diseases. The patient make accurate recommendations about an occasion of sexual life and possible risks, but behind their observance anybody, certainly, does not watch.
On a photo: a monument to victims талидомида in London (2005). As model Alison Lepper who at the moment of creation of a sculpture was pregnant acted. Her child has grown the healthy.