The brand name medication Cytotec is a drug that doctors administer for a variety of reasons. Misoprostol, the generic name for the drug, is a name some people may recognize. It is the drug administered in conjunction with mifepristone to induce a medical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy.
Of course, doctors use it for other purposes as well. The drug is quite popular to help treat certain kinds of ulcers. As you might imagine, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labels Cytotec as a drug that should not be administered during pregnancy or to women in labor.
Unfortunately, some doctors do so anyway despite the labeling warning them otherwise. You may want answers if your difficult delivery or child’s birth injury may have been a result of the off-label use of this drug.
Why doctors give Cytotec during labor
There are multiple drugs approved for you during labor and delivery. These range from drugs that help a face and dilate the cervix to pain management medication. Cytotec is a medication some doctors use to speed up labor, but it is not safe for use during labor and delivery.
As you could likely infer from its use in medical abortions, Cytotec can have a profound impact on the uterus. During labor, the drug can cause uterine tearing and hemorrhaging. Women given the drug during labor may become permanently infertile due to uterine tearing.
In some cases, the child could die if medical professionals are not ready to act quickly when the mother has an adverse reaction to the medication. In the most tragic scenarios, the mother herself could also die due to the hemorrhaging that results.
While such catastrophic reactions are rare, they occur with enough frequency that doctors should never administer this medication during labor and delivery, but some of them still insist on doing so. They might believe that it is a more cost-effective solution than other options or that the fact that they have not seen in verse outcome yet is proof that one won’t occur in the future.
Off-label drug use could very well be medical malpractice
Although not all forms of off-labeled drug administration will give rise to claims of medical malpractice, a doctor openly ignoring the large warning label and doing the opposite of what the FDA says they should is certainly contrary to best practices.
Women injured by the off-label use of a drug during delivery and families struggling with the loss of a spouse or a child may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim for the birth injuries that resulted from off-label drug use. Holding medical providers accountable for birth injuries may be the only way to convince them to change their practices and secure Justice for your family.