Cytotec Maker Has Warned Against Use in Delivery and Abortion
2001 – Warnings were issued today about the drug Cytotec being used in
pregnant women to induce labor and about the dangers of its use for
abortions. Searle, the pharmaceutical giant, which manufactures
Cytotec, issued the warning about the drug's use.
Hospital and Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois has been at the
center of a controversy concerning the use of what some call the
"live-birth abortion" method using Cytotec.
Michael Cullen, Searle's Medical Director, said in the letter that the
company warned health care providers nationwide that Cytotec should
not be used on pregnant women. "The purpose of this letter is to
remind you that Cytotec administration by any route is contraindicated
in women who are pregnant because it can cause abortion. Cytotec is
not approved for the induction of labor or abortion," Cullen wrote.
"Searle has become aware of some instances where Cytotec, outside of
its approved indication, was used as a cervical ripening agent prior
to termination of pregnancy, or for induction of labor, in spite of
the specific contraindications to its use during pregnancy."
company said no research has been conducted, "concerning the use of
Cytotec for cervical ripening prior to termination of pregnancy or for
induction of labor, nor does Searle intend to study or support these
was issued on August 23, 2000, however, it is reported Christ Hospital
continues using Cytotec to induce labor in women seeking abortions
and, reportedly, to induce normal full-term deliveries. The abortion
procedure sometimes results in the birth of a live baby, which is then
left to die without any medical assistance or intervention.
Hospital is part of the Advocate Health Care System of hospitals that
includes eight other medical facilities in the Chicagoland area. The
"live-birth abortion" method, used by Christ Hospital and another
Advocate facility, Lutheran General in Park Ridge, is also performed
by numerous abortion providers across the nation and in Canada,
according to media reports.
been multiple lawsuits in the U.S. concerning the use of Cytotec.
Searle's warning to health care providers that, "Serious adverse
events reported following off-label use of Cytotec in pregnant women
include maternal or fetal death," is seen by some legal experts as a
means to escape liability in future litigation.
was originally developed for the treatment of ulcers. Yet despite the
warning from Searle, some abortion providers are still using Cytotec.
It is estimated ten women nationwide have died because of the improper
use of Cytotec.