Q. For what purpose are Folinext-D, Emistat-OD and Neogest given to pregnant women?
Folinext-D contains folic acid, methylcobalamine, alpha lipoeic acid, vitamin B-1, and B-6. It is an irrational combination of several agents and is not allowed to be sold in any country except India. The only useful and essential ingredient is folic acid which should be taken by all pregnant woman. Folic acid alone is sold as Folet 5mg. Emestat-OD (never to be confused with Emeset which must not be used during pregnancy) brand is manufactured by a very small scale company and contains doxylamine and vitamin B-6. Other brand of the same medicine is Queezy. It is used to control nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. Neogest contains progesterone. Oral progesterone is indicated for the prevention of endometrial hyperplasia in postmenopausal women who are receiving oestrogens, in secondary amenorrhoea, premenstrual syndrome and some other deficiency disorders. Its use during known or suspected pregnancy is contraindicated (not permitted). If used during early pregnancy, oral progesterone can cause congenital defects in the baby including cleft palate, ventricular septal defect (heart defects), patent ductus arteriosus (heart defect) and other congenital defects. Some cases of foetal death and spontaneous abortion have also been reported in pregnant women prescribed oral progesterone for unapproved indications. A recent US clinical study has suggested at least a 2-fold increased risk of second/third degree genito-urinary development defects among boys born by mothers who took progesterone shortly prior to or during early pregnancy. Some advanced countries like Australia have not permitted the use of oral progesterone for any indication.
General statement on selection of brands: There are scores, sometimes hundreds, of brands of the same medicine. Against about 300 pharmaceutical manufacturers in western countries like Britain, there are over 20,000 producers in India that market more than 40,000 brands. Most manufacturers do not have quality testing laboratories. Hence selection of brands is important. Many companies give incentives to prescribers to patronise their products. Patients should check the reputation of manufacturers before consuming medicines.