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Cytotec (misoprostol) is a drug commonly used for treating stomach ulcers. However, one of its off-label uses, which has NOT been approved by the FDA, is inducing labor. Unlike other drugs, there is no way to quickly discontinue its use, as it is absorbed vaginally. Additionally, there is no way to predict how a mother will react to this drug.
As stated above, Cytotec was researched, developed, and approved only for the treatment of stomach ulcers. Searle, the manufacturer of Cytotec, never conducted the clinical research necessary to confirm the safety for use as a labor induction agent. Using it for this purpose is an unapproved, off-label use. Both the FDA and Searle have issued numerous warnings to doctors warning against this off-label use.
There have been numerous concerns over the number and frequency of birth injuries that have occurred when Cytotec was used for labor induction. These include:
Hyperstimulation. This is a common problem reported with the use of Cytotec to induce labor. Contractions ideally should be 2 to 3 minutes apart during labor. They should last 60 seconds or less. Hyperstimulation occurs when there are an excessive amount of strong contractions. These are usually less than two minutes apart. They can cause dangerous changes in fetal heart rate.
When hyperstimulation presents, the umbilical cord is in danger of compressing. This means the baby will not receive adequate oxygen. If this happens, it must be considered an obstetrical emergency. It requires an emergency C-section to deliver the baby immediately to avoid permanent brain damage.
Uterine rupture. Another common side effect of Cytotec use, this occurs when the excessive contractions resulting from hyperstimulation cause the uterus to tear. The tear can be partial or complete. In most cases, the baby is delivered via emergency C-section to avoid hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Excessive bleeding is also common in this situation and requires repair (or complete removal) of the uterus.
A sharp increase in the number of uterine ruptures prompted a Committee Opinion of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) warning in 1999. It stated that Cytotec has been known to cause uterine rupture in women who have had prior uterine surgery. As such, the drug is not recommended for use in patients who have had a C-section or other form of uterine surgery.
In addition to hyperstimulation and uterine rupture, Cytotec has also been associated with:
If your child experienced a birth injury resulting from Cytotec, the team at Willens Law Offices can help.
We have helped the families of children across Illinois get the compensation they need for a secure future. We strive to give the utmost personal attention to each child and family we represent.
Our nationally recognized birth injury firm has numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements that speak to our success and experience. You will not pay our firm unless we win or settle your case.
Call Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166 for a free case evaluation. Our firm’s expert team are available to you whenever you need them, 24/7.
The plaintiff went to a Chicago hospital for delivery of twins via cesarean section. In the delivery room, a suspicious rash was recognized on one of the twins and later, fecal and urine cultures confirmed the presence of candida. She was started on prophylactic anti-fungal medicine and is healthy. The other twin was clear of any rash and though she was at risk for fungal infection, she was not treated in a timely manner. Later, a head ultrasound and MRI confirmed the diagnosis and damage to her brain. A lawsuit was filed on the plaintiff’s behalf. The case was vigorously defended by lawyers for the physician and the hospital that he worked for over 3 years. Eventually, a mediation took place at which time the defendants offered $3,000,000 to settle, which the plaintiff rejected. It was not until trial that the case settled for $10,000,000.
Birth injury cases are among the most complicated medical malpractice cases to litigate. With years of experience in birth trauma litigation our legal team has the skills, the resources and experience necessary to address and win a wide variety of birth injury cases. Our legal team has secured millions of dollars in compensation for birth injury victims.
With decades of hands-on experience working with top healthcare professionals in labor and delivery, our legal team has access to some of the top medical professionals in the world. As in many types of medical malpractice cases, high quality expert are essential in obtaining justice.
Our firm was established to focus on the unique needs of our clients. We work with top medical, life-planning, and forensics experts to determine the causes and extent of injuries, prognoses of victims, and areas of medical negligence. Our passion for helping birth injury victims allows our attorneys to deliver unrivaled legal services for your family.
Willens Law Offices have helped the families of children across Illinois get the compensation they need for a secure future.
We strive to give the utmost personal attention to each child and family we represent.