The effect of anti-emetic drugs on rat embryonic heart activity.Reprod Toxicol 2019; 87:140-145RT
Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) is the most common medical complaint during pregnancy affecting up to 70% of pregnant women worldwide. Some antiemetic medications (AEM) (droperidol, domperidone, granisetron, metoclopramide and trifluoperazine) used to treat NVP have the unwanted side effect of hERG blockade. The hERG potassium channel is essential for normal heart rhythm in both the adult human and the human and rat embryo. Animal studies show hERG blockade in the embryo causes bradycardia and arrhythmia leading to cardiovascular malformations and other birth defects. Whole rat embryo in vitro culture was used to determine the effect of the above listed AEM and meclizine on the heart rate of Gestational day 13 rat embryos. These embryos are similar in size and heart development to 5-6-week human embryo. The results showed that all of the AEMs caused a concentration-dependent bradycardia. Droperidol had the lowest margin of safety.