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In February 2021 we launched a campaign called #HG 2costly, calling for first line treatments for Hyperemesis Gravidarum to be reimbursed on the Drugs Payment Scheme and Medical Card. 

Press Release:

27 February 2020

#HG2costly campaign

Severely ill pregnant women are facing financial difficulty as routine medications not covered by the Drugs Payment Scheme.

‘I was vomiting over 20 times a day and lost 20kgs. We had to give up our house and move into my parents’ spare room to afford my medication.’ Trish.

Hyperemesis Ireland supports women who are suffering from extreme nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (Hyperemesis Gravidarum). The charity is calling for routine treatments for hyperemesis to be included on the Drugs Payment and Medical Card schemes amid growing concern about the financial hardship women are facing.
Many of the women supported by the charity are spending over €1000 on prescriptions per pregnancy and in some extreme cases over €2000 all the way up to €3000.

‘My sector is currently closed down. I get €250 per week from the pandemic unemployment payment. My monthly prescription of Cariban is €184. As I also have prescriptions for other medical conditions, I am spending over €300 a month just to function.’ Sinead.

‘When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I was unemployed. I was getting €96 weekly from social welfare. €50 of that went on Cariban.’ Eleanor.

A spokesperson for the Charity said, ‘Women suffering from hyperemesis are already extremely sick. The last thing women and their families need is to face financial hardship on top of the physical and emotional suffering caused by months of relentless nausea and vomiting. That is why we are calling on the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, to include first line treatments for hyperemesis on the Drugs Payment Scheme and Medical Card.’
The charity is encouraging supporters to ask their TDs to call on the HSE and Minister for Health to push for treatments for Hyperemesis Gravidarum to be included on the schemes and to engage on social media using the hashtag #HG2costly.

Additional information
1. For more information email

2. Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a complication of pregnancy in which women experience extreme levels of nausea and vomiting. Unlike regular pregnancy sickness which affects around 70-80% of pregnant women to some degree and is considered a normal, if unpleasant, part of pregnancy, hyperemesis is
not normal and can be potentially life threatening without adequate treatment. Around 1 in 100 pregnant women will be admitted to hospital due to the dehydration and malnutrition that hyperemesis can cause. Many more women will need time off work due to nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Living with severe levels of nausea and/or vomiting for any length of time can have a profoundly negative impact on a person's health and well-being.

3. When you are talking about the condition, please do not refer to hyperemesis as ‘extreme morning sickness’ as many sufferers feel this trivialises their condition. Severe pregnancy sickness or the full name, Hyperemesis Gravidarum, are preferred.

4. Ireland’s national clinical guidelines for treating Hyperemesis Gravidarum recommend that a combination of Pyridoxine and Doxylamine is used as the first line treatment for Hyperemesis Gravidarum. In Ireland it is licensed/available under a number of brand names including Cariban (unlicensed but marketed, not reimbursed), Xonvea (licensed but not marketed, rejected for reimbursement in 2019) and Navalem (licensed but not marketed, not reimbursed). Hyperemesis Ireland is not affiliated with any of these brands or any pharmaceutical companies.

5. Hyperemesis Ireland is a registered charity, no: 20201046.

6. Website Twitter @HyperemesisIE.