Sunday, June 01, 2008

FDA Looks at Safety of Meds for Pregnancy/Birth

It has taken the US Food and Drug Administration to come to the conclusion that changes need to be made to the physician labeling of prescription drugs - to better inform expectant mothers (they call them patients as if they are ill, which they are NOT) as well as health care professionals about the risks of medicines used during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Out of the nearly 6 million pregnancies in the US each year, expectant women take an average of 3-5 prescription drugs during pregnancy, says the FDA. And with the history of medications in the US being given without adequate research (DES, Thalidamide, Cytotec) that have had catastrophic results (or hazardous outcomes), I think it is just about time that adequate labeling WITH adequate research is accessible to all who are considering or do become pregnant.

I am somewhat concerned that it has taken so very long for the FDA to come to this conclusion. In no other part of medicine does something ingested impact two people at the same time. When an expectant mother ingests a medication, it impacts both the mother and the fetus. And why will the increasingly better drug labeling "have a huge impact on public health and well-being for women" (according to Rear Admiral Sandra Kweder MD)? What has not been shared with us so far? What has been kept from us? What have they known and not shared?

For years, the FDA has toyed with maternal and fetal health and well-being. I think this "decision" is long overdue and too little, too late for many couplets.

1 comment:

Caring said...

I am happy to hear that this is finally becoming a reality. I am a mother who was given Cytotec (Misoprostol) to induce my labor. I was NEVER told any information about this medication, I just TRUSTED my doctor to do what was best. After my placenta abrupted and my uterus ruptured and 45 minutes of waiting for a C-Section my son (Andrew) was born. It took 25 minutes to revive him. Andrew lived for 7 days on life support until I got permission to take him off.

No mother should ever have to go through this. Labor if a time of joy, bring new life into the world, not a time to wonder how you are going to buy a casket and pay for a funeral. I urge anyone and everyone who has ever had a connection with this medication to contact their law makers. Ask for proper research of labor inducing medications. Demand that women be treated respectfully and not used as guinea pigs. Demand that our unborn children be protected from doctors who want to practice only between the hours of 9 to 5. Babies are born when they want to come, not around a doctor’s schedule.

Thank you, Hansi Holloway ( http://www.hollowayfoundation.org )