Cytotec: Safe or Deadly?

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Cytotec: Safe or Deadly? A medically induced labor becomes necessary for many reasons. Some pregnancies develop complications such as hypertension, preeclampsia, heart disease, gestational diabetes, or bleeding during pregnancy (1).Many pregnancies go beyond forty two weeks and “there is evidence that some babies are at risk after this stage due to a gradual decrease in the supply of nutrients from the placenta” (1). In order to begin labor that has not started naturally, “a mechanical or chemical stimulus is needed” (1). Artificial rupture of the membrane (mechanical) is “when the bag of water (amniotic sac) breaks or ruptures, production of the hormone prostaglandin increases, speeding up contractions”(1). Medications (chemical) can be administered to the patient in order to “produce a synthetic form of the hormone that your body naturally produces during spontaneous labor” (2). The most common medications used are pitocin and syntocinon which are “a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin”. Cytotec is another drug used to start labor. However, Cytotec has many risks and adverse effects when used for this purpose. Administering Cytotec to obstetrics patients is considered off label use. “In the United States, the regulations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permit physicians to prescribe approved medications for other than their intended indications. This practice is known as off label use”(3). This practice is a loophole in the FDA law that says “once a medicine is tested and approved for a specific use it can be prescribed and used for any other use a physician would choose without needing to be tested for that treatment”( ). Cytotec was developed “to prevent stomach ulcers in patients taking anti-inflammatory drug... ... middle of paper ... ...This is my life now, this is who I am; a broken spirit, with a broken body, all because of one error of judgment. The Tatia M. Oden French is a consumer group organizing a petition against the FDA because of adverse effects with the use of the drug Cytotec. To date, there are a total of 2,796 signatures petitioning the FDA to take into consideration the events that affect women and their families when using Cytotec. 2,796 people have been affected by its use. Woman have died, infants have died, men have lost a wife and and/or child. All have changed in some way by a tiny little pill. Whether any of these events or objections from Searle will change the support of ACOG or FDA laws is unknown. Cytotec is still being administered to woman who have faith and confidence that their life, and sometimes their unborn child’s life, is in the best hands of their doctor.

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