Cytotec Labor Injuries

Marketed under the brand name Cytotec, the drug misoprostol is sometimes given to pregnant women to induce labor. Cytotec labor induction works by ripening (thinning or causes effacement) of the cervix to product contractions. However, many women have experience serious side effects.

The use of Cytotec as a labor induction medication is an “off-label” or unapproved use. Cytotec was researched, developed, and approved to treatment for stomach ulcers, and this is the only approved use. The manufacturer of Cytotec, Searle, never conducted clinical research to test the safety of Cytotec labor induction. Both Searle and the FDA have issues warnings to doctors regarding this off-label use.

There are also safety risks regarding the dosage and method of administration. Unlike other drugs used for labor induction like Pitocin and Cervidil, Cytotec is not administered in IV form or via a removable vaginal insert. Cytotec is a pill that is inserted vaginally. It is typically cut into quarters with one quarter inserted every four hours. Yet there is no way to predict how a pregnant woman or her baby will tolerate Cytotec. If the mother of baby has an adverse reaction, Cytotec can’t be quickly discontinued like other labor induction drugs.

Birth Injuries and Cytotec Labor Induction

A number of birth injuries have occurred in cases where Cytotec was used to induce labor. These include:

  • Hyper–stimulation, which occurs when there is an excessive amount of strong contractions–usually two minutes or less apart–that can cause serious fetal heart rate changes. Hyper–stimulation puts the baby in danger of not receiving adequate oxygen, making it an emergency which requires immediate delivery of the baby to avoid permanent brain damage.
  • Uterine Rupture occurs when the excessive contractions associated with hyper–stimulation cause the uterus to tear, either partially or completely. In most cases, the baby must be delivered by emergency c-section to avoid hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Hemorrhaging, or excessive bleeding, is also common and require repair or complete removal of the uterus (hysterectomy).

In addition to hyper–stimulation and uterine rupture, Cytotec has also been associated with increased incidence of jaundice, increased hemorrhaging or blood loss, amniotic fluid embolism (amniotic fluid enters the mother’s bloodstream causing a stroke), meconium–stained amniotic fluid, increased emergency c–section, and assistive device deliveries (forceps or vacuum extractors)

If you, your child or spouse suffered as a result of Cytotec labor induction, you may have a birth trauma case and may be entitled to compensation. Geoff Pope and Marc Howard, two of the leading birth injury attorneys in Atlanta, will thoroughly investigate your case, and will fight for the compensation you and your child deserve.

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