Off label drugs

The first time I heard about prescribing drugs off label I was shocked. This was in my Bradley class over three years ago. We learned about Cytotec and I was aghast. Really outraged. Next thing you know, we go into my 39 week OB appointment and the doctor starts talking induction, just to get the ball rolling. He said he'd give me Cytotec and we said I wouldn't consent to Cytotec because it has not been approved by the FDA for the use he intended, and you should've SEEN him. He got red in the face, sputtered about people taking a childbirth class and thinking they knew more than he did... and stormed out of the room. Thank goodness that's the last time I saw him... but we should've followed our instincts and tried to get into a midwife's care that very day.

Since then I've become a lot more informed and a lot more passionate about these issues. I do understand that it's HARD to do clinical trials for pregnancy, and that's why Cervadil is more expensive than Cytotec. But you know what? Babies are worth it. Moms are worth it. Don't you think?

9 comments:

kris said...

completely.

AJ said...

I had no idea Cytotec wasn't approved for that... I had it for my induction and it was worthless. What exactly is it supposed to be used for??

Karen said...

AJ, believe it or not, Cytotec was developed, tested, and manufactured for prevention and treatment of gastric ulcers.

AJ said...

Gastric ulcers!? How is it supposed to help the baby move along? That is ridiculous.

The Mommy Blawger said...

It's not just that it is not approved for inductions. Drugs get used "off-label" all the time, sometimes that's a good thing. The problem is that the manufacturer has asked doctors not to use it for inductions. It is actually contraindicated for use in pregnancy.

aj- Cytotec is a prostiglandin, PGE1. Prostaglandins help ripen the cervix.

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