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HG Facts

Hyperemesis Gravidarum rarely ends at 12 weeks of pregnancy. It typically improves in the middle of pregnancy, but symptoms often last until birth. 

Irish Guidelines

Ireland has National Treatment Guidelines. You can download them here.

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 2021

#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.

Press coverage of #HG2costly and Hyperemesis


The Journal

HSE looking into whether 'special arrangement' possible for access to severe pregnancy sickness drug

Minister 'hopeful' positive outcome can be reached to help women with severe pregnancy sickness

Health Minister insists State won't reimburse cost of drug to treat severe pregnancy sickness

Group to investigate options for funding severe pregnancy sickness drug to make it more available


How commmon is Hyperemesis in Ireland? 

'Like Having a Hangover for Eight Months', goverment urged to pay for costly pregnancy medication

Irish Examiner

Government moves to reduce the cost of pregnancy medication

Viagra is on the medical card but Cariban cost me €3k

Farmers Journal

Consumer Watch: The Cost of Cariban

Red FM

Cork mother of two calls on Health Minister to meet with Hyperemesis suffers as he considers funding Cariban. 

Cork's 96fm 

The Opinion Line Podcast Extra

Sunday World

New mum who vomited 20 times a day gave up home due to cost of anti-nausea meds

RTE Drivetime

Anti-Nausea Pregnancy Drug Still Not on the Drugs Payment Scheme Nor Covered by the Medical Card

Business Post

Top medic: ‘If the state can pay for Viagra, it can pay for extreme pregnancy sickness drugs’

The Echo

'It stole the joy of my pregnancy...'

Irish Times

State refunds Viagra costs but women must pay for severe pregnancy sickness drugs, Seanad told

How a crippling medical condition made it tough for me to enjoy being pregnant

Irish Independent

Extreme pregnancy sickness: I couldn’t afford the medication and three years on, I’m still suffering the consequences

East Coast FM

We are grateful to Declan Meehan and The Morning Show for covering the campaign on several occasions. 

How you can support #HG2costly