Scary! Article by Ina MAy Gaskin re induction of labour using Cytotec - Mothering Forums
Birth and Beyond > Scary! Article by Ina MAy Gaskin re induction of labour using Cytotec
Raven's Avatar Raven 08:16 PM 06-21-2005

wende's Avatar wende 08:34 PM 06-21-2005
OMG! My dd was induced via Cytotec. My water broke a week prior (PROM) and I knew she was ready to be born so I asked to be induced. They didn't tell me that there was any chance of negative side affects (aside from the normal premature baby issues) from taking the pill. In fact, they told me that it was easier than using pitocin and that hopefully the one dose they gave me would work otherwise they would have to use pit. They didn't even tell me that it was still an experimental drug!

Luckilly, I had no problems and I followed my instinct (she was ready to be born) in asking for the induction. I can't believe I didn't ask more questions. I can't believe that they didn't readilly tell me! I am feeling extremely fortunate that everything went smoothly!
Raven's Avatar Raven 09:04 PM 06-21-2005
wende - I think its more dangerous when they use it to induce when the cervix is not yet ready.

Im sorry they never informed you about the drug in question. Its scary what goes on!
stafl's Avatar stafl 09:05 PM 06-21-2005
Quote:
But the stories I was hearing about Cytotec I found especially unsettling.
She heard my Cytotec story, too, when I met her at one of my prenatal appointments. She nearly had tears in her eyes listening to me tell of the horrors I faced the day my first was born. They didn't even tell me they were giving me Cytotec, just that it was "an ulcer medication, like Reglan, that should ripen my cervix." There is no doubt in my mind that it was the Cytotec that led directly to my baby's heartrate dropping to TEN beats per minute, and thus an emergency cesarean.

Cytotec now has an FDA alert. Why are doctors still using it???
http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopag...ol/default.htm
Artisan's Avatar Artisan 09:06 PM 06-21-2005
Very scary for that mama!
fourgrtkidos's Avatar fourgrtkidos 12:03 AM 06-23-2005
I have come to expect doctors to hand out what ever the drug reps push...... what makes me and : is when midwives are giving this stuff. MW's are supposed to protect and preserve the sanctity of birth and a woman's fertility. I had a MW give this to me also, for a HB (illegal). She swears that there are no problems with it............. playing with fire.

I have NEVER heard of someone getting three!!!!
daekini's Avatar daekini 12:34 AM 06-23-2005
My mom actually called me the other night because she saw this on the news or it was on NPR or something, and said for me not to use it.

Well I wasn't going to anyway... but I think it's good that some 'mainstream' media is putting this out there for mainstream folks (like my mother!) to learn about...
umefey's Avatar umefey 12:41 AM 06-23-2005
That is unbelievably frightening. I feel so bad for that poor mama and : about that "midwife"
MamaTaraX's Avatar MamaTaraX 12:50 AM 06-23-2005
Cytotec is some scary shiz. You won't catch me near it.

Quote:
Im sorry they never informed you about the drug in question. Its scary what goes on!
It's really scary to hang out and attend hospital births because of the amount of things that nurses/drs/RNA's DO NOT tell parents. I remember asking 1000 questions when I had my first son (hospital) and the staff seemed curious that I was so inquisitive (especially for being so young). Now that I attend births regularly I am constantly surprised, nay appalled, at what people are not told and also at what people do not know to ask. It's sad both ways. You know whatbugs me a bunch? When someone has an epidural placed. THey tell them nothing about it and *after* it is placed, thy start asking them a bunch of medical history type questions. And every time this does not phase the mom or dad or family. Makes my jaw drop. I know that has nothing to do with Cytotec, but I see it happen with all kinds of things. Cervadil inductions, Pit inductions/augmentations, shots of Nubain and Stadol...they tell them squat about itand I'm lucky if someone asks me about it, let alone asks someone with an actual medical background.

Namaste,Tara
applejuice's Avatar applejuice 03:56 AM 06-23-2005
Mothering Magazine had a cover story about Cytotec a couple of years ago...yes, scary stuff, and labor induction is an off label use for it.
applejuice's Avatar applejuice 03:57 AM 06-23-2005
I even have heard of midwives using it at home...on V-BAC patients.

Scary stuff...!
cathicog's Avatar cathicog 04:10 AM 06-23-2005
Note the date on the article- it is 6 years old! (I trained at the Farm and one of our classes was on Cytotec and its dangers....)
cathicog's Avatar cathicog 04:14 AM 06-23-2005
Cuz it's cheap, and the docs don't have to sit around waiting for a laboring woman. If anything goes wrong, they can jump in and be heroes(they hope) and get FAR more money for it...for this reason homebirth should be the NORM....
JSerene's Avatar JSerene 04:16 AM 06-23-2005
The scary thing to me is that you cannot take cytotec out once it is placed because it disolves on the cervix. At least with pitocin and cervidil they can be removed quickly if there are bad side effects. When I was induced I declined cytotec and took the cervidil instead to help ripen my cervix. I had a nasty physical reaction to it (baby's heart beat did okay, thank goodness) that resolved as soon as the medication was pulled out. I was then given pitocin, which worked really well at a very low dose. It turns out I am quite sensitive to these medications. I SHUDDER to think of what could have happened if I had taken the cytotec. Here's the really scary thing - the only reason I was given a choice was because I'm a L&D nurse on the unit and they knew I was highly opinionated and wanted as much control as possible in my care. With any other patient, they simply would have given the cytotec, without explaining any of the health risks unless asked (btw, RNs do not place cervidil or cytotec on our unit, the CNMs and MDs do).

By the way, use of cytotec is contraindicated with VBAC (because of the increased risk of uterine rupture) and home birth (because of the need for continuous monitoring and the increased risk in general).
applejuice's Avatar applejuice 04:27 AM 06-23-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathicog
Cuz it's cheap, and the docs don't have to sit around waiting for a laboring woman. If anything goes wrong, they can jump in and be heroes(they hope) and get FAR more money for it...for this reason homebirth should be the NORM....
But don't you know?

That obstetricians are like firemen?

They both save lives!

...but firemen do not start the fire.
Sagesgirl's Avatar Sagesgirl 07:02 AM 06-23-2005
Quote:
By the way, use of cytotec is contraindicated with VBAC (because of the increased risk of uterine rupture) and home birth (because of the need for continuous monitoring and the increased risk in general).
Um, actually use of Cytotec is contraindicated period. There has been an FDA warning on the drug, and even before that there was warning in the literature for the drug that says it should NOT be used to induce labor because of the large risk of uterine rupture. It's one of those drugs where you shouldn't take it if there is even the slightest chance you could be pregnant, because it is an abortifacient. In fact, it is used to induce abortion by some clinics.

However, OB/GYNs continue to believe it is safe:
http://www.obgyn.net/english/ob/MisoprostolProtocol.htm

Quote:
I. Misoprostol (Cytotec) is a synthetic PGE1 analogue. It's FDA approved indication is for the prevention of stomach ulcers in patients taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Because of its prostaglantin activity it is also very useful for cervical ripening and induction of labor. Misoprostol has much the same mechanism of action, benefits, complications, indications, adverse reactions and contraindications as other cervical/vaginal prostaglandin products (e.g. Prostin¨ gel, Prepidil¨ , and Cervidil¨ ). Multiple studies have been done in multiple U.S., Canadian and European centers all showing the effectiveness and safety of Misoprostol for cervical ripening and induction of labor.
One would think they'd bother to read what Pfizer says about the drug. There is a large red box on the label of the drug which says: "Do not take if you are pregnant and do not become pregnant while taking this medicine because it can cause miscarriage or other serious complications."

The leaflet included with the medicine also states: "Cytotec can cause abortion (sometimes incomplete which could lead to dangerous bleeding and require hospitalization and surgery), premature birth, or birth defects...Cytotec has been reported to cause the uterus to rupture (tear) when given after the eighth week of pregnancy. Rupture (tearing) of the uterus can result in severe bleeding, hysterectomy, and/or maternal or fetal death."

http://www.pfizer.com/pfizer/download/ppi_cytotec.pdf

From another info sheet on Pfizer's site:

Quote:
UTERINE RUPTURE HAS BEEN REPORTED WHEN CYTOTEC WAS ADMINISTERED IN PREGNANT WOMEN TO INDUCE LABOR OR TO INDUCE ABORTION BEYOND THE EIGHTH WEEK OF PREGNANCY (see also PRECAUTIONS and LABOR AND DELIVERY)
Now, I'll quote from labor & delivery:

Quote:
Vaginal administration of Cytotec, outside of its approved indication, has been used as a cervical ripening agent for the induction of labor and for the treatment of serious postpartum hemorrhage in the presence of uterine atony. A major adverse effect of the use of Cytotec is the hyperstimulation of the uterus which may progress to uterine tetany with marked impairment of uteroplacental bloodflow, uterine rupture (requiring surgical repair, hysterectomy, and/or salpingo-oophrectomy), or amniotic fluid embolism. Pelvic pain, retained placenta, severe genital bleeding, shock, fetal brachycardia, and fetal and maternal death have been reported.
http://www.pfizer.com/pfizer/download/uspi_cytotec.pdf

(The emphasis above is mine.)

Please note that it says repeatedly in many, many different sections of the drug's literature, that it should NOT be taken by pregnant women. And this was the case as well when I researched this while pregnant with my daughter back in 2000. So it's not as if it's new information for doctors to study.
Thmom's Avatar Thmom 12:50 PM 06-23-2005
Sabra... great info!! and this is why I always encourage everyone to ask for the package insert before taking ANYTHING! Legally they have to provide it to you.
Storm Bride's Avatar Storm Bride 01:57 PM 06-23-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by applejuice
I even have heard of midwives using it at home...on V-BAC patients.

Scary stuff...!
When I first became pregnant with this baby, I came online to start trying to find solid information on uterine rupture. One of the first cases I came across was a woman who'd been administered Cytotec at home. If I recall correctly, she wasn't a VBAC, but she came very close to dying, and lost her baby. Her adult daughter saw the whole thing, and was absolutely horrified. There's a case where it's a good thing she got transferred as quickly as she did...

I can't believe people are still using this for induction!!
The other day, I was flipping through "Baby's Best Chance", which is a publication our provincial government provides pregnant women. I was reading the section on possible interventions, and noticed that misoprostol was listed as a possible agent!! I couldn't believe my eyes.
NoraB's Avatar NoraB 04:59 PM 06-23-2005
I remember reading in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth (I think) about cytotec and amniotic fluid embolism. Super scary.
applejuice's Avatar applejuice 05:22 PM 06-23-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoraB
I remember reading in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth (I think) about cytotec and amniotic fluid embolism. Super scary.
Which is a very scary and usually unprepared for side effect of any kind of labor induction.
Jade2561's Avatar Jade2561 03:44 AM 06-24-2005
The maker of Cytotec, Searle strongly advises against it's use in pregnant women. I know L&D nurses whon have nicknamed Cyto - blast, it either blasts the baby out or blasts your uterus!
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