Dutch Trial Stopped When Babies Died After Mother Received Viagra

A Dutch pregnancy trial that used Viagra was abruptly stopped when 11 newborns died. Women who took part in the study were given Viagra to help improve the growth of their unborn because they suffered from placentas that were poorly developed.

However, it appears that the anti-impotence medication, which helps to promote blood flow, might have damaged the lungs’ of the babies and caused their deaths.

Health experts said that a complete investigation would be needed in order to better understand what took place. No suggestion of wrong-doing was raised.

Earlier trails held in Australia, New Zealand and the UK found no evidence of any kind of potential harm from the process, but they also did not find any benefit.

During the trials, in 2010, researchers said that form of treatment should only be used for trials.

Fetal growth restriction is caused by a placenta that is underdeveloped and is a serious condition with no current treatment available.

The disorder can often times mean that babies are prematurely born and have very low birth weights with a poor change of survival.

Any medication that is able to improve the weight of a baby or prolong the amount of time before delivery could result in substantial advantages for the sick babies.

The Dutch study, which had originally be scheduled to run all of 2019, was being carried out in 11 hospitals across the Netherlands, with one of those being the Amsterdam University Medical Center.

In all, 93 women had been given sildenafil, which is the generic name of Viagra, while another 90 women were given just a placebo or dummy drug.

After birth 20 babies developed problems in their lungs; three from the group of women taking the placebo and the remainder (17) from the group that took sildenafil.

Eleven of the babies that were from the group taking sildenafil died due to lung complications.

A professor, who was the leader of research in the UK into sildenafil for pregnancy that did not find any benefit related to improving the growth of babies, said that the finding that stopped the Dutch trial was not expected.

He added that much care needs to be taken but they need to find out what caused the deaths.

There needs to be a thorough investigation due to the complications that were not evident in two other trials of a similar nature that were already carried out in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, the professor added.

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