By Dave Andrusko
A study intended to help mothers whose unborn babies were severely underdeveloped has ended disastrously with the deaths of 11 babies whose mothers took sildenafil.
Reuters is reporting that the Dutch trial using the drug, sold under the brand name Viagra, was halted Monday.
Roughly half of 183 pregnant women participating were taking sildenafil, the Amsterdam University’s Academic Medical Center (AMC) said.
The study started in 2015 and involved 11 hospitals. It was designed to look at possible beneficial effects of increased blood flow to the placenta in mothers whose unborn babies were severely underdeveloped.
Around 15 women who took the medication have not yet given birth.
Reuters reported that the 11 babies died due to “a possibly related lung condition,” a condition”that caused high blood pressure in the lungs and may have resulted from reduced oxygen levels.” Seventeen of the babies were born with lung conditions.
Just three babies who were part of a roughly equal control group (meaning they did not take sildenafil) had lung problems, and none died.
“There have been other studies in this area, both involving preliminary work using animals and using pregnant women, and there was no indication that the treatment was dangerous based on previous research,” Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, told Reuters.
Editor’s note. Tip of the hat to Life News.