Dutch researchers have stopped the clinical trials of using Viagra to treat pregnant women after 11 babies born to such women died of lung disease.
Sildenafil, the main active ingredient of Viagra, was given to pregnant women as part of a clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a drug for the treatment of stunted embryos that face a serious risk of death before or after birth. CNN.
Half of the 183 mothers who participated in the study were treated with sildenafil, and the other half were given a placebo. At the same time, the women did not know which group they were in, which is standard for such tests.
"Fetal growth restriction occurs when the growing fetus does not receive enough nutrients or oxygen from the placenta," explained neonatologist Mohan Pummy, medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at the Texas Children's Center in Houston.
Sometimes this happens because the mother suffers from high blood pressure, diabetes, or a condition called preeclampsia. And children born too young can face many problems, including lack of blood flow to the intestines and even death.
Researchers hoped that sildenafil could open some blood vessels in the placenta, which would help the growth of the fetus, increasing their nutrient and oxygen supply.
However, Dutch scientists found that sildenafil led to the development of blood vessel disease in the lungs in infants, which increased the risk of their death after birth. This condition is essentially one of the types of high blood pressure in the lungs.
A similar study in the UK, the results of which were published in December 2017, did not reveal the effect of sildenafil on neonatal mortality and no side effects of treatment, but there was also no positive effect of such treatment.
Pammy noted that high blood pressure in the vessels of the lungs is associated with a low birth weight of the child.
According to the University of Amsterdam Medical Center, 183 women took part in the clinical trials that began in 2015 in 11 in the Netherlands. Ninety-three women were treated with sildenafil, and 90 people received a placebo.
Nineteen children born to women who were treated with the drug died, 11 of them from lung problems. Six babies were born with a lung disorder and survived. In comparison, 9 to nine babies born to women receiving placebo died, but none of them had a lung disorder. Three babies with lung disorder were born to women treated with placebo, and they all survived.
The researchers noted that they are likely to stop the practice of using sildenafil to treat fruits with growth disorders.
According to the World Health Organization, low birth weight is the cause of 15,5% of newborns in the world; in developing countries, 96,5% of babies with low birth weight die, about 20 million babies per year.