Cytotec Injuries and Medication Errors: Your Rights Under the Law

doctor and baby Cytotec (misoprostol) is a drug used to address stomach ulcers. However, it can also be used off-label to induce labor. The FDA has not approved this drug for medical management of miscarriage and induced abortion. When administering the drug mainly to address gastric ulcers, the doctor must first know if the patient is pregnant or not.

What Is Cytotec?

Cytotec, though used to treat ulcers, can sometimes be used for labor induction. What it does is it lines the stomach by lowering the acid that comes into contact with it.

Commonly, it is used to reduce the gastric ulcer caused by taking NSAID or non-steroidal inflammatory drugs. However, when you combine it with mifepristone, a drug used to block cortisol, and administer it to a pregnant woman, it may cause abortion, birth defects, and premature labor.

Other side effects of Cytotec include:

  • Gynecological disorder
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Mental and mood swings
  • Dizziness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle weakness

When Cytotec is administered vaginally, its effect on the patient is immediate, and it is hard to discontinue once side effects start to show. If given to a pregnant woman, the following could happen:

  • Rupture of the uterus
  • Tachysystole or the frequent contraction of the uterus
  • Maternal hemorrhage
  • Placental abruption or the early separation of the placenta from the uterus

When these complications happen, it may cause harm to the unborn baby. These may cause brain damage and hemorrhage, which may lead to disabilities such as cerebral palsy. In extreme cases, complications may even lead to the death of both the mother and the baby.

Uses Of Cytotec

Cytotec has the generic name misoprostol, a synthetic prostaglandin E1. When taken, misoprostol can induce labor and cause miscarriage. Although Cytotec is marketed as an anti-ulcer drug taken with NSAIDs, it as an off-label drug used by some doctors for medical abortion.

As mentioned above, this drug makes the cervix thinner by ripening it, which results in contractions. Cytotec, which can do permanent damage to the mother and baby, has not been approved by the FDA as an abortive drug. On the contrary, the FDA has issued warnings against the use of the drug by doctors to induce labor.

When used in inducing labor, Cytotec can cause the following side effects:

  • Maternal hemorrhaging
  • Tachysystole
  • Pelvic pain
  • Amniotic fluid embolism (AFE)
  • Uterine rupture or tearing of the uterus
  • Fetal bradycardia or abnormally low fetal heart rate
  • Retained placenta
  • Birth asphyxia
  • Inadequate blood flow to the placenta
  • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
  • Death

In using Cytotec for labor induction, small doses are usually administered vaginally as a cervical ripening agent.  Once it is administered, the effects cannot be mitigated nor discontinued.

No medication can reduce the contractions in the mother’s uterus. The body absorbs Cytotec right away, and once it is inside the body, it is difficult to predict the effect on both the mother and the baby. When complications arise, there may be a need to perform an emergency C-section.

When Cytotec is given to women over the age of 35 who have undergone a C-section or any surgery in the uterus, it can be riskier and more dangerous.

Cytotec and Birth Defects and Injuries

The use of Cytotec when pregnant links to several birth injuries. The mother may undergo uterine hyperstimulation and rupture, which can be harmful both to the mother and the baby.

Some of the birth defects and injuries associated with Cytotec are:

Not only is Cytotec harmful to pregnant women, but it can also be harmful to women who can potentially get pregnant. When doctors prescribe Cytotec with NSAIDs, they must inform women not to get pregnant or use contraception while medicating.

Your Best Legal Option Regarding Cytotec Birth Injuries

If you were negligently prescribed Cytotec by your doctor, and as a result, your baby was born with birth injuries, you should discuss your legal options with an expert attorney. A birth injury lawyer can help you obtain the rightful compensation for your case.

Birth injury lawyers at The Clark Law Office can evaluate your case and help you file a medical malpractice lawsuit to get the compensation you and your child rightfully deserve. Contact  The Clark Law Office today at (517) 347-6900 or email info@theclarklawoffice.com for a free consultation.

Sources:

Cytotec Oral : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing – WebMD
https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-1786/cytotec-oral/details

The Freedom to Birth—The Use of Cytotec to Induce Labor: A Non-Evidence-Based Intervention
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684033/

Misoprostol Labour Induction Study – Full Text View – ClinicalTrials.gov
https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03489928

Misoprostol Uses, Side Effects & Warnings – Drugs.com
https://www.drugs.com/mtm/misoprostol.html