When a drug comes under scrutiny from consumers, the media, the FDA and ultimately attorneys who are representing clients who have suffered as a result of a problem relating to that drug, the first thing people tend to look for is information. This is certainly the case with Cytotec, a drug that’s come under a high degree of scrutiny.
Cytotec, which is manufactured by Searle, was originally formulated for helping those patients who suffered from gastric ulcers. Specifically, these ulcers tended to develop in those who were taking NSAIDs, which are anti-inflammatory drugs, and for a time the results were very promising.
After a short time on the market, Cytotec was seen by many doctors as a potential alternative medication to induce labor. The process of inducing labor is growing in prevalence, and estimates indicate that of the 4 million births in the United States every year, approximately 800,000, or 20 percent, are induced. In 2002, Cytotec was used to induce an estimated 40,000 patients.
The problems associated with the off-label use of Cytotec to induce labor are extremely serious in nature. The initial side effect linked to this type of use is that the uterus showed a tendency to tear in the women who were using Cytotec. When the uterus tears, a whole host of other dangerous conditions can arise.
First, a tear in the uterus can lead to serious internal bleeding, and this bleeding can not only lead to loss of consciousness or worse, but it can also damage other organs. Most seriously, though is the tendency for Cytotec use in this context to suffer from miscarriages late in the pregnancy term or in some cases to die themselves.
Can I file a lawsuit if I have suffered damages from taking Cytotec?
Possibly. While all medications have certain, anticipated side effects, a drug manufacturer has a duty to inform physicians adequately regarding the known risks associated with its drugs. If a manufacturer fails to do so, it can be held responsible to patients who are injured as the result of inadequate warnings, under a legal theory known as “product liability.” Depending upon the particular circumstances of your case, damages may include recovery for any of the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Emotional distress
If you or a loved one has experienced any health problems while taking Cytotec, you should contact your doctor immediately. You may also wish to contact an experienced Cytotec lawyer to discuss your legal options. As all legal claims are subject to time limits, however, you may risk forfeiture of your right to financial compensation if you delay.